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Syria Cease-Fire Crumbles as Bombings Kill Dozens

The New York Times reports:  BEIRUT, Lebanon — For 38 straight days, the streets of the northwestern Syrian town of Maarat al-Noaman had been the scene of protests against the government and the Islamic extremists of the Nusra Front.

On Tuesday, they became a scene of carnage, as government warplanes attacked the town’s marketplace, killing dozens of people, according to residents and rescue workers.

The attack confirmed the apparent unraveling of a fragile cease-fire agreement between Syrian government forces and some armed opposition groups. The attack in Maarat al-Noaman, and a similar one in the nearby town of Kafr Nabl, came several days after the start of a new insurgent offensive in a neighboring province, and a day after the main Syrian opposition group said it would no longer participate in diplomatic discussions in Geneva.

The opposition has accused the government of repeatedly violating the partial cease-fire, and Tuesday’s attacks were seen as a violent end to the relative respite from airstrikes that had lasted nearly two months.

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