Truce fails to halt fighting

AMMAN — Syrian jets bombed suburbs of Damascus and a car bomb killed 10 people in the capital today, the last day of a four-day truce which UN chief Ban Ki-moon acknowledged had failed.

Each side blamed the other for breaching the Eid al-Adha truce arranged by international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who nevertheless promised to pursue his peace efforts.

“I am deeply disappointed that the parties failed to respect the call to suspend fighting,” Ban said in Seoul, where he was visiting to receive the Seoul Peace Prize.

“This crisis cannot be solved with more weapons and bloodshed … the guns must fall silent,” he said.

Brahimi, after meeting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, voiced regret that the ceasefire had not worked better. Asked whether UN peacekeepers might be sent to Syria, he said there was no immediate plan for that.

Although President Bashar al-Assad’s government and several rebel groups accepted the plan to stop shooting over the Muslim religious holiday, it failed to stem the bloodshed in a 19-month-old conflict that has already cost at least 32,000 lives.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition watchdog, 420 people have been killed since Friday.

Damascus residents reported heavy air raids on the suburbs of Qaboun, Zamalka and Irbin overnight and today which they said were the fiercest since jets and helicopters first bombarded pro-opposition parts of the Syrian capital in August.

Syrian state television said women and children were among those killed by a “terrorist car bomb” near a bakery in Jaramana, in the southeast of Damascus. Damascus residents say the district is controlled by Assad loyalists. (Reuters)

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