A general view taken from Damascus shows smoke rising from the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta following fresh air strikes and rocket fire on February 27, 2018. / AFP / STRINGER
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A humanitarian "pause" announced by Russia in Syria's deadly bombardment of Eastern Ghouta struggled to take hold Tuesday, with fresh violence erupting and no sign of aid deliveries or residents leaving the besieged enclave.Nine days after Russian-backed regime forces intensified their campaign against the rebel-held enclave, the deal offered some respite to civilians who had been cowering in their basements.But the first day of a five-hour daily "pause" announced by Russia was marred by fresh violence that saw at least two civilians killed by regime rocket fire.Moscow's plan falls short of a broader 30-day ceasefire which was voted by the United Nations but has yet to take effect, and has inspired little trust from among the 400,000 residents of the besieged enclave.More than 550 civilians, almost a quarter of them children, have been killed since Feb. 18 in the Syrian and Russian bombardment of Eastern Ghouta, making it one of the bloodiest episodes of the country's seven-year-old conflict.Another 16 people were wounded across Eastern Ghouta, the Britain-based group said.
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