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Rebels threaten to end cease-fire amid deadly attacks in Syria's Aleppo

A coalition of rebel groups have said they will "disengage" from the "cessation of hostilities" if the government continues its attacks in Aleppo. More than 50 people have been killed in the latest flare up of violence.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 14 people were killed in rebel and government bombardment in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on Sunday.

At least eight civilians were killed when government airstrikes struck rebel-held parts of Aleppo, while six died from rebel shelling of government-held areas.

Since Friday, more than 50 people have been killed by renewed violence in Aleppo between Syrian government forces and rebel groups vying to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, according to the Observatory.

The Aleppo Conquest, a coalition of rebel groups in the northern city, late Saturday threatened to dissolve the "cessation of hostilities" brokered by the US and Russia.

The UN-backed cease-fire went into effect on February 27 in a bid to bolster peace talks between Damascus and the Saudi-backed opposition alliance High Negotiations Committee (HNC).

"We will fully disengage from the truce" if Damascus does not halt its attacks on the city, the group said in an online statement published in Arabic.

'Not suitable'

The Aleppo Conquest's statement comes on the heels of the HNC suspending its participation in UN-brokered peace talks aimed at ending the five-year conflict in the Middle Eastern nation.

"It is not suitable, neither morally nor on the humanitarian side, to be part of negotiations when Syrians are dying daily from sieges, hunger, bombings, poisonous gases and barrel bombs," said HNC leader Riad Hijab.

In March 2011, government forces violently cracked down on pro-democracy protesters calling for al-Assad to step down, which led to a multiple-front conflict that has left more than 270,000 people dead and half the population displaced, according to the UN.

ls/jlw (AFP, AP)

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