Syria militants kill four in two major cities


A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab Agency (SANA) on April 23, 2016 shows firefighters battling a fire that engulfed dozens of shops in the old part of the capital, Damascus. (AFP photo)

Militants in have carried out attacks on residential areas killing four people in two major cities, the state news agency says, reporting more cases of violations of a truce deal in the Arab country.
Syria’s official SANA new agency said Saturday that at least three people were killed and 17 others were injured in attacks on residential neighborhoods in Aleppo, northwest of the country.
Military sources said the assaults were carried out by al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front and affiliated groups and targeted al-Ashrafiyeh, al-Hamadaniyeh, al-Iza’a and al-Mukambo neighborhoods of Aleppo.
SANA also said terrorists fired rounds of mortars on residential areas in al-Wafideen Camp neighborhood in Damascus countryside, killing one child and injuring a woman. It said several residential areas in the capital, including al-Salehiyeh and al-Adawi neighborhoods, were also shelled by militants, with no reports available on the casualties.
Both attacks on Aleppo and near and inside Damascus inflicted considerable material damage on public and private properties, SANA said, accusing the militants of ignoring a truce deal across Syria to facilitate peace talks in Switzerland between the government and the foreign-backed opposition.
The ceasefire, which was brokered by the United States and Russia and came into effect in late February, excludes al-Nusra Front and Daesh, meaning attacks by them could not be viewed as violation of the truce. However, SANA claimed militants, presumably from other groups, continued to violate the terms of the deal on Friday and Saturday. Militants have leveled similar accusations against the government over the past days, saying scores have been killed in airstrikes carried out by government on militant positions.
Sources in Geneva, where the talks are going on, said Friday that indirect negotiations will continue under the auspices of the United Nations until at least end of April. That came despite the departure of a major Saudi-backed opposition from the talks.

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