Bombarding in major Syrian cities weakens fragile truce

Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad renewed their bombardment of major cities on Saturday and rebels launched several attacks, further undermining a truce meant to mark the Muslim Eid al-Adha religious holiday.

The violence, reported by residents, opposition supporters and Syria's government, came on the second day of the ceasefire called by international peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who had hoped to use it to build momentum to end the 19-month-old conflict in which an estimated 32,000 people have been killed.Syrian state news SANA reported dozens of "ceasefire violations" by rebel groups including a car bomb in front of a Christian church in the eastern city of Deir al-Zor.

Activists in Deir al-Zor and in Aleppo, which is Syria's most populous city and about half controlled by rebels, said mortar bombs were being fired into residential areas.Residents in Damascus posted internet footage of fighter jets they said bombed the suburbs of Erbin and Harasta. Eight people were killed, according to the residents and to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based opposition organisation with a network of sources within Syria.

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