Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

WORLD [Derived Headline]

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

WORLD [Derived Headline]

Article excerpt

SYRIA TO OBSERVE HOLIDAY CEASE-FIRE

BEIRUT -- The Syrian military says it will cease military operations for four-days starting on Friday in observance of a major Muslim holiday.

In the announcement read on state TV today, however, the army said it would still respond to gunfire or roadside bombs and keep rebels from bolstering their positions or getting supplies.

The international envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, proposed the four-day cease-fire for Eid al-Adha, saying it could lead to a longer truce and political negotiations between the sides.

Rebel forces have dismissed the idea, saying they don't trust the regime of President Bashar Assad to stick to its promises.

Also today, anti-regime forces made major advances in Syria's largest city, claiming to have seized new areas long controlled by the regime.

The two sides have been stalemated for months in the fight for Aleppo, a major battleground in the civil war.

Activists in Aleppo reported heavy clashes citywid, particularly around a military airport. Bassam al-Dada, a rebel spokesman, said in a phone interview that anti-regime fighters have taken several areas that have seen months of clashes, including the southwestern neighborhoods of Salaheddin and Suleiman a-Halabi.

He said rebels now control more than half of the city.

MYANMAR CLASHES KILL 56

YANGON, Myanmar -- At least 56 people have been killed and nearly 2,000 homes destroyed in the latest outbreak of ethnic violence in western Myanmar, a government official said today.

The 25 men and 31 women were reported dead in four Rakhine state townships in violence between the Buddhist Rakhine and Muslim Rohingya communities that re-erupted Sunday, local government spokesman Win Myaing said. He said some 1,900 homes had been burned down in fresh conflict.

In June, ethnic violence in the state left at least 90 people dead and destroyed more than 3,000 homes. Tens of thousands of people remain in refugee camps.

FATHER VOWS INJURED GIRL WILL RETURN

ISLAMABAD -- The father of a 15-year-old Pakistani activist girl who was shot and wounded by a Taliban gunman says she'll return home after medical treatment abroad. …

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