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Observatory: Syrian Cease-Fire Lasts 10 Hours

A displaced Syrian child who fled from Raqa, sits behind humanitarian aid boxes delivered by UNICEF at a temporary camp in the town of Tabqa, about 55 kilometres (35 miles) west of Raqa.

A Syrian watchdog says a cease-fire in areas of Homs province in central Syria held for at least ten hours before regime forces and militant factions began exchanging gunfire.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday gunfire erupted in Homs' northern countryside in the towns of Farhaniyah, Teir Maalah, Um Sharshuh, and the outskirts of the al-Houla area.

The Observatory said the militant factions initiated gunfire in the villages of Hos Tasnin and Javvurn and "other places controlled by the regime forces" in Homs. There was no immediate word about casualties.

The cease-fire that began in central Syria Thursday at noon local time was intended to give residents a chance to start pulling their lives back together.

Reporters on the ground said fruit and vegetable markets reopened and children were back on the streets in the city of Homs.

The quiet was also meant to give humanitarian workers the chance to bring in badly-needed aid.

Russian defense officials and representatives of the Syrian rebels worked out the details of the cease-fire in northern Homs last week in Cairo.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the truce would affect an area that has a population of more than 147,000 people.

The truce was the third of four truces reached during negotiations in Kazakhstan when Russia, Iran, and Turkey agreed to establish what they called "de-escalation" zones in some of the most violent areas of Syria.

Cease-fires also went into effect in parts of southern Syria and an area outside Damascus. The fourth area in Idlib province has yet to be established.

Like other cease-fire deals during the Syrian conflict, this one does not cover Islamic State fighters or those from al-Qaida-linked groups.