Africa

Killings Shatter Syrian Truce

biThe Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says 150 people were killed on the first day of a cease-fire in Syria. The truce went into effect Friday in observance of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

The human rights observers said children were among the victims in a bomb blast near a playground and a mosque in Damascus.

The observers also reported fighting between rebels and soldiers in several areas around the country, including a Damascus suburb and the Wadi al-Daif army base.

Syrian army officials said soldiers were responding to cease-fire violations by the rebels, while opposition fighters accuse the army of breaking the truce.

United Nations special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi arranged the cease-fire so Syrians on all sides could celebrate Eid al-Adha, the holiday marking the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

Syrian television showed President Bashar al-Assad mingling with worshippers at Friday prayers, while some ordinary Syrians said they were just trying to stay alive and were in no mood to celebrate.

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