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Seven dead as Syrian government continues fighting

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President Assad, Syria.

SYRIAN CONFLICT.With hours to go on Monday before Kofi Annan’s cease-fire agreement that was said to kick into effect on April 10, no signs showed any slowdown in the Syrian government’s ongoing military campaign against opposition and public. Instead, one camera man in Lebanon was killed by what seemed to be government controlled forces, and Syrian forces also fired across the border at a refugee camp in Turkey, wounding at least six people, the Associated Press reported.

The camp in the town of Kilis is occupied by thousands of people who fled violence in Syria. Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has scheduled a visit to the region for this week, UPI reports.

According to the cease-fire agreement brokered by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Syrian troops were meant to pull out of population centers by Tuesday morning. But President Bashar Assad’s government on Sunday introduced a new, last-minute demand, AP reports, saying forces cannot withdraw without written guarantees from opposition fighters that they will lay down their arms.

Syria’s main rebel group, the Free Syrian Army, rejected the government’s demand for a written guarantee, but says it will abide by its promise under Annan’s plan to stop fighting — as long as the regime does too.

 

Meanwhile, China on Sunday increased its pressure on both Assad and the opposition, urging the parties to adhere to the agreement. Beijing’s appeal was issued after the Syrian President’s demand for written guarantees from his opponents threw doubt on the prospects for the cease-fire.

The Syrian opposition and Western leaders had been skeptical all along that Assad would live up to his commitment to a truce because he broke similar promises in the past and escalated attacks on opposition strongholds in the days leading up to the cease-fire deadline, Associated Press reports.

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The editor of the Traveling Reporter works as a business news editor, and is a frequent traveler. When not doing any of that, he spends time on his boat and tries to figure out where to travel next. Two of his top destinations are the Philippines and San Francisco. Email Erik! Follow the Traveling Reporter at Stumbleupon, Tumblr, Chime In, Pinterest, Google+, Weibo, Storify, Facebook, Traveldudes, Myspace.