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Hezbollah fighters, Syria rebels agree to 48-hour cease-fire in border town amid new talks


BEIRUT — The television station of Lebanon's Hezbollah group and activists say a 48-hour cease-fire has started in a Syrian border town and two Shiite villages in northern Syria.

The town of Zabadani, near the Lebanese border, and the villages of Foua and Kfarya have been the scene of bloody standoffs, with rebels facing off against Hezbollah and Syrian forces. Thursday's cease-fire was the second in the areas this month.

Al-Manar TV and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights say the cease-fire is to work out sticking points from an earlier round of negotiations.

The previous Iranian-mediated talks were focused on securing safe passage for rebels and civilians out of Zabadani in exchange for allowing humanitarian aid to the two besieged villages with a majority pro-government population sympathetic to Hezbollah.

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