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Eid holiday off to bloody start in Syria: Watchdog

Published on Aug 20, 2012 3:18 PM
A Syrian boy cries in front of damaged building in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on Aug 19, 2012, on the first day of the Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan. -- PHOTO: AFP

BEIRUT (AFP) - The Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday got off to a bloody start in Syria, with at least 84 people dying across the country, most of them soldiers, and Damascus rocked by clashes, a watchdog said on Monday.

The fresh surge of violence on Sunday, the first day of the Eid festivities, came as new UN peace envoy to Syria, Mr Lakhdar Brahimi, said it was no longer a question of "preventing civil war" in Syria but rather ending it.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 16 bodies were found in Al-Tall village, a rebel stronghold in Damascus province, and that another 34 soldiers, 28 civilians and 22 rebels died across the country on Sunday.

The Britain-based Observatory, which gathers its information from a network of activists on the ground, reported clashes between rebels and loyalist troops in several southern Damascus neighbourhoods, where loud explosions were heard.

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