International peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has announced that the Syrian government has agreed to a cease-fire during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. Meanwhile, a car bomb hit the capital, Damascus.
The UN-Arab League envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, made the announcement from a news conference in Cairo on Wednesday, "After the visit I made to Damascus, there is agreement from the Syrian government for a cease fire during the Eid (holiday)."
He added that "most" rebel leaders contacted said they would observe a truce, but did not specify if this included commanders of the main rebel group, the Free Syrian Army.
"If this humble initiative succeeds, we hope that we can build on it in order to discuss a longer and more effective cease-fire and this has to be part of a comprehensive political process," Brahimi said.
Waiting on Damascus
The Syrian foreign ministry said a final decision on whether to observe a cease-fire during Eid would only be given on Thursday, the first day of the holiday.
"The army command is studying the cessation of military operations during the Eid holiday, and the final decision will be taken tomorrow," said a ministry statement issued in Damascus.
State television in Syria reported on Wednesday that a car bomb had exploded in the south of the capital, killing six.
"The terrorist explosion caused by the car bomb in Daf al-Shok caused the martyrdom of six citizens and 20 wounded," television said.
President Bashar Assad is fighting an insurgency that grew out of street protests 19 months ago, which has escalated into a civil war that activists say has claimed the lives of some 30,000 people.
hc/rc (Reuters, AFP, AP)