Fierce clashes continue to erupt in Syria, even as the UN's deadline for a ceasefire looms a week from today. Kofi Annan's peace plan requires Syrian troops to withdraw from towns and cities by April 10, and the UN expects both sides to stop fighting within two days afterward, the AP reports. A UN team will arrive in the country today to discuss the deployment of observers who will monitor the ceasefire plan, the Guardian adds.
Even so, activists report fighting in several areas today, Reuters notes, including government troops reportedly staging one of the most violent attacks so far on a Damascus suburb. One activist group says at least 27 have been killed today. But Syrian officials tell Annan, the UN-Arab League envoy, that troops are already beginning to withdraw from Daraa, Idlib, and Zabadani.