Damaged cars and buildings are seen in the besieged town of Douma, Eastern Ghouta, Damascus, Syria February 25, 2018. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh
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As a U.N. cease-fire failed to take hold in Syria, Russia Monday ordered a daily "humanitarian pause" to allow civilians to evacuate an embattled rebel-held enclave near Damascus, while airstrikes continued and Syrian ground forces fought to push into the besieged area from the west. But civilians caught in the violence mocked Russian President Vladimir Putin's order of a limited, five-hour daily truce. A weekend resolution approved by the U.N. Security Council for a 30-day cease-fire across Syria failed to stop the carnage in the Eastern Ghouta region that has killed more than 500 people since last week.Maj. Gen. Yuri Yevtushenko, head of the Russian military's Center for Reconciliation in Syria, said Syrian authorities set up a "humanitarian corridor" for evacuating civilians and would distribute leaflets with specific information.Activists Sunday reported a suspected poison gas attack in Eastern Ghouta's town of Sheifouniyeh, where at least one person – an infant – was killed.U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed to the warring sides to abide by the cease-fire.
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