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United States and Russia have announced that a planned cessation of hostilities in Syria will come into effect at midnight on February 26th. Their statement said, the truce did not include so-called Islamic State and the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front. World powers agreed on February 12th that a truce would come into effect within a week, but that deadline passed and scepticism remains over the new plan. More than 2 lakhs 50 thousands Syrians have been killed in the conflict which began in March 2011. Separately, Syria's government



has called a parliamentary election for April, 13th. The last was in 2012 and they are held every four years.
The White House said, President Barack Obama had phoned his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to discuss the efforts to establish the cessation of hostilities. After their phone call yesterday, the joint Russian-US statement was released. The statement said, Air strikes by Syria, Russia and the US-led coalition against IS, Nusra and other terrorist organisations designated by the UN would continue.

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