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Syrian Government Wants 'Written Guarantees' From Opposition

The Syrian government says it wants "written guarantees" from the opposition before it withdraws its troops from flashpoint cities in parts of the country.

The statement from the Syrian foreign ministry on April 8 comes two days before a UN-backed deadline for a ceasefire.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accepted a UN-brokered ceasefire deal due to go into effect on April10.

Nevertheless, the foreign ministry said on April 8 that earlier reports that Damascus would pull its troops from cities "is a wrong explanation."

The remarks come as some of the deadliest violence yet occurred on April 7.

As many as 160 people were killed under heavy bombardment in the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo, and in the Latamneh suburb of Hama city -- leading to fears that Damascus would ignore the impending ceasefire.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa