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Bombings, clashes leave Syria truce in tatters
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Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdessi on Saturday accused the U.S. of being one-sided. He said Syria remains committed to halting military operations. He said all cease-fire violations were the result of attacks, most of them carried out by organizations that originally rejected the truce, an apparent reference to Jabhat al-Nusra. The spokesman said Syria has sent messages to the U.N. Security Council concerning the violations.
Syrian state media accused the rebels of breaking the truce from the start.
One of the deadliest attacks Friday was a car bomb attack in a residential area of Damascus.
The state-run news agency SANA on Saturday quoted the director of Damascus Hospital, Dr. Adib Mahmoud, as saying the hospital received 15 dead civilians, including eight children, and 92 wounded, among them 65 children. Activists had put the death toll at 11.
Also Saturday, Lebanese broadcaster LBC TV said journalist Fidaa Itani, one of its employees covering Syria’s civil war, was detained by the rebels and is being held in the town of Azaz near the Turkish border.
The station quoted a local rebel leader in Azaz, Abu Ibrahim, as saying that rebels suspected Itani after he filmed many videos of rebels operations in Aleppo. Itani’s Lebanese cellphone was closed when The Associated Press tried to reach him.
The area also was the site of the May kidnapping of 11 Shiite Lebanese pilgrims who were on their way home from Iran. Two have been released while rebels say they will hold the others until Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group, apologizes to the Syrian people for supporting Assad.
Associated Press writer Bassem Mroue in Beirut contributed to this report.
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