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News Link • Syria

Guns silent in hours after Syria truce deadline

•, By Mariam Karouny and Dominic Evan
 But the lull did little to convince opposition activists and Western powers of President Bashar al-Assad's good faith in observing a peace plan agreed with international envoy Kofi Annan. In defiance of that deal, Syrian troops and tanks were still in position inside many towns, activists told Reuters.

The exile opposition, calling the truce "only partially observed" due to that failure to withdraw, urged a renewal of mass protests on Friday. But it warned those taking to the streets, after months when once weekly rallies have been subdued by fear, that they could expect government forces to open fire.

The Interior Ministry urged rebels to surrender, promising to free those who had not killed, and broadcast an appeal to the thousands who fled battered cities like Homs and Hama to return from the havens they found in Turkey, Lebanon and within Syria.

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