Syrian Violence Kills 22 as Arab Leaders Back Peace Plan

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Violence across Syria killed at least 22 people — most of them civilians — as Arab leaders in Baghdad backed a peace plan during a summit focused on resolving the year-long Syrian crisis.

Syrian rights activists say forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad killed at least 16 civilians in assaults on opposition hubs in central Syria and the northern province of Idlib on Thursday. The activists say rebels killed two soldiers in an ambush in Hama province. In other violence, Syrian state news agency SANA says “terrorists” shot and killed two army colonels in the city of Aleppo.

Arab leaders and envoys discussed a response to the Syrian crisis at a Baghdad summit — the first to be held by the Arab League in the Iraqi capital since Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. A rocket exploded near the fortified Green Zone where the summit was being held but caused no casualties.

Arab League members called on the Syrian government and opposition to implement the terms of a peace plan drafted by international envoy Kofi Annan. The plan urges both sides to start a cease-fire and a dialogue but does not call for Mr. Assad to step down as part of a political transition.

Arab leaders previously had urged the Syrian president..

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