Landmark UN backed ceasefire in war-torn Syria goes into effect

A landmark UN-backed ceasefire across parts of war-torn Syria held through the night, with residents waking up to calm on Saturday morning, AFP correspondents said.

The northern city of Aleppo, where rebels and the regime typically fire at each other across an active front line, was silent at dawn, according to an AFP journalist there.

Residents said that if the lull in fighting held through the afternoon, they would take their children to small parks in their neighbourhoods.

To the southeast, government forces continued to fight the Islamic State group — which along with other jihadist groups was excluded from the truce deal agreed by world powers — according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said there were also intermittent clashes in the coastal province of Latakia between government forces and jihadists.

The central provinces of Homs and Hama, where Russian bombardment had been intense, were largely calm, according Abdel Rahman.

But Syria's state news agency said a car bomb had struck the eastern edges of the town of Salamiyeh in Hama province, killing two people.

The Observatory said both of those killed were government soldiers at a checkpoint near the town, which has been attacked by IS jihadists.

In Damascus, AFP correspondents said it was quiet across the city and its eastern suburbs, without the typical sounds of shelling or plumes of smoke.

Rebels and activists throughout the night wrote social media posts in solidarity with Daraya, a rebel bastion west of Damascus that the government said it would exclude from the truce because of the presence of jihadists.

They used the hashtags #WeAreAllDaraya and #NoDarayaNoTruce while sharing an edited map of Syria that relabelled all towns as Daraya.

More than 270,000 people have been killed since Syria's uprising broke out in March 2011.

Updated Date: Feb 27, 2016 14:25 PM

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