Saturday, March 31, 2012

Syria violence erupts despite cease-fire call

(CNN) -- Despite a U.N. envoy's demand for an immediate cease-fire, the Syrian military clashed with defectors in the capital of Damascus and regime forces pummeled other areas with heavy gunfire Saturday, opposition activists said.

At least 24 people were found dead across Syria on Saturday, the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria said.

The latest violence comes as Kofi Annan, U.N.-Arab League special envoy to Syria, urged President Bashar al-Assad to implement his six-point peace plan to end the violence and not wait for concessions from the opposition.

The fighting undermines the peace initiative brokered by Annan, the United Nations and Arab League joint envoy to Syria. Al-Assad accepted the terms of the plan Tuesday, but the bloodshed has persisted.

The plan calls for an end to the violence by the government and opposition, timely humanitarian aid, the release of arbitrarily detained people, freedom of movement for journalists, respect for peaceful demonstrations and freedom of association. Read More