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Syria truce begins under US-Russia deal

Gorkha Post

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DAMASCUS — Guns fell silent across Syria on Saturday after a landmark UN-backed truce became effective, the first major truce in five years of civil war that have claimed more than 270,000 lives.

On the stroke of midnight, terminating ceased in rural areas around the capital and the devastated northern city of Aleppo, AFP reporters said, after a day of intense Russian air strikes on rebel bastions across the country.

Monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it was quiet in the north of Latakia province and in the central provinces of Homs and Hama.

“I may be up late tonight and hope I won’t be wakened tomorrow by the sound of airplanes,” Mohammed Nohad, a resident of Aleppo’s southern rebel-held district of Al-Kalasseh, told AFP.

The nationwide cessation of hostilities would be the first pause in fighting since Syria’s civil war broke out five years ago.

UN envoy Staffan de Mistura said peace talks would resume on March 7 if the ceasefire holds and more aid is delivered — a key sticking point in negotiations for a truce.

But previous attempts to end the fighting have failed and Russia and the US, which back opposing sides in the fight, have warned that applying it on the ground will be difficult.

“I can’t hide the fact that I’m happy the war has stopped, even for a few minutes,” 24-year-old regime soldier Abdel Rahman Issa said from the battlefield Jobar area on the eastern outskirts of Damascus.

“If it continues like this, maybe we can go home.”

Analysts have also questioned whether it can be effective on Syria’s complex battlefields, as the truce allows fighting to continue with Islamic State and Al-Nusra Front jihadists.

There were intermittent clashes after the ceasefire began between pro-regime forces and both groups, the Observatory said, as well as fighting between jihadists and Kurdish forces.

AFP

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Drinking water shortage hits life at Yasok in Panchthar

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PACHTHAR — A shortage of drinking water at Yasok Bazar, the center of Kummayak Rural Municipality, has thrown the normal life of the locals out of gear.

The problem arose after the local market management committee removed water pipes installed in the bazaar area. Per household here was getting 50 liters of drinking water once in two days before this.

Water scarcity here is not a new occurrence at Yasok which normally remains dry, but the complete disruption in the supply of taps water has paralysed the life, according to local hotelier Keshab Thapa.

There is no natural or artificial water source nearby the area and locals are forced to dependent on the supply by the local government through tractors in a very limited quantity.

The rural municipality has started fetching water from the local Chhorunga stream and distributing it to the locals. Tractors are used to transport stream water to the area.

Earlier, the 650 households at Yasok were using drinking water supplied by the Yasok Deurali Drinking Water Project. Regular supply (once in two days) was too less to meet demand. There is a demand for some 250,000 liters of water at Yasok per day.

According to Yasok Market Management Consumers Committee secretary Mahendra Bahadur Khadka, water pipes were removed (without any alternative arrangements) in course of market management efforts and it will take some more days to restore them and water scarcity is to go for more few days

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