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Annan appeals to Syria to give peace plan a chance

By The Associated Press

This article was published April 10, 2012 at 11:22 a.m.


U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, center, is welcomed by Syrian refugee children upon his arrival at Yayladagi refugee camp in Hatay province, Turkey, Tuesday April 10, 2012.

— Syrian troops shelled and raided opposition strongholds nationwide on Tuesday, activists said, prompting an urgent appeal by international envoy Kofi Annan to the Syrian regime to halt violence and give his truce plan a chance.

The Syrian opposition as well as the United States and its allies have been deeply skeptical that the regime would comply with the cease-fire because it has violated previous agreements and stepped up attacks in recent weeks.

The main Syrian opposition group estimated that some 1,000 people have been killed in regime attacks in the week leading up to Tuesday’s withdrawal deadline. Tuesday’s fighting claimed the lives of at least 29 civilians and 11 regime soldiers, activists said.

Syria’s foreign minister said regime forces have begun withdrawing from some areas in compliance with Annan’s plan, which requires Syrian forces to pull back from towns and villages on Tuesday and both sides to cease all hostilities by 6 a.m. Thursday.

However, activists said Syrian forces carried out new attacks and there were no signs of a withdrawal.

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