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Leading Syrian opposition groups have called for a boycott of the country's parliamentary elections scheduled for May 7.

The groups have called the elections "a mockery" and have instead formed an "alternative" parliament, according to a statement published in the pan-Arab "Asharq al-Awsat" newspaper on May 6.

The statement said the alternative legislature's first act was to cancel the current constitution and restore the one adopted in 1950.

The statement came as violence continued in the country, particularly in eastern Deir al-Zour province.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed that more than 600 people have been killed since a UN-brokered cease-fire took effect last month.

The UN estimates that more than 9,000 people have been killed since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011.

Based on reporting by dpa and AP
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