"Fighting raged near a military base in Syria's north as a ceasefire in the bloody civil war was supposed to go into effect Friday at dawn," activists tell The Associated Press, which says the news illustrates "the difficulty of enforcing even a limited truce coinciding with a Muslim holiday."
Still, the AP adds, "elsewhere violence appeared to die down, and thousands of protesters took advantage of the lull to mount some of the largest anti-regime demonstrations in months."
From Beirut, correspondent Rasha Elass tells the NPR Newscast Desk that:
"Activists in several provinces in Syria, including the capital Damascus, say there have been no government fighter jets or helicopters bombarding them from the sky. Such assaults have caused dozens of deaths every day in recent months.
"But, the activists add, today there were incidents of live fire on the ground that killed several civilians."
As we've reported, U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi brokered what he said is a 4-day truce during the Eid al-Adh holiday that Muslims began observing today. But earlier ceasefire deals have quickly fallen apart in Syria this year.