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Syrian President Assad announces 72-hour long truce for Eid al-Fitr celebrations

| Updated: Jul 07, 2016 21:21 IST

Washington, July 7 (ANI): The Syrian army declared it was observing a 72-hour long ceasefire across the country on the ocassion of Eid al-Fitr, the festival marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. "A 'regime of silence' is applied across all territory of the Syrian Arab Republic for 72 hours from 1 a.m. on 6 July to midnight on 8 July," the army said on Wednesday in a statement republished by official media. The statement, however, did not specify whether the ceasefire extended to military action against militant jihadis such as Islamic State or the al-Qaida-affiliated al-Nusra Front, reports the Guardian. Commenting on the ceasefire, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he hoped the truce was "a harbinger" that more ambitious and long-lasting similar deals could be struck with Syria. "We very much welcome the Syrian army declaration of 72 hours of quiet. We are trying very hard to grow these current discussions into a longer lasting ... enforceable, accountable cessation of hostilities that could change the dynamics on the ground," Kerry told a news conference in Tbilisi, Georgia. There was no immediate indication whether the rebel forces opposing the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, would abide by the truce and observe peace. However, despite the ceasefire announcement, Aleppo's rebel-held eastern areas came under fire on Wednesday morning killing a civilian and leaving several others wounded in the eastern al-Mashhad district when artillery fire fell near a mosque hosting Eid prayers , according to residents and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.(ANI)