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Syria Demands Guarantee from Rebels Before Pulling Out Troops

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(BEIRUT, Syria) -- Syrian government officials called for a written guarantee that rebels would cease fighting before pulling out its troops, jeaopardizing a U.N.-brokered peace plan, The Washington Post reports.

The six-point peace plan was drawn up by U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan and endorsed by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on April 1, which set a Tuesday deadline for Syrian forces to withdraw from cities. Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi denied the agreement, stating that Annan has not delivered written guarantees of the armed rebel groups to lay down their weapons.

Annan said in a statement issued on Sunday that he was shocked by a surge in violence and atrocities that violated assurances the Syrian government had given him.

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