The television station of Lebanon's Hezbollah group and activists say a 48-hour cease has started in a Syrian border town and two Shiite villages in northern Syria between the group's fighters and rebels there.

Al-Manar TV and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights say the cease-fire in Zabadani near the Lebanese border and the northern villages of Foua and Kfarya went into effect Wednesday morning.

Hezbollah and Syrian troops have been trying to fully capture the one-time rebel stronghold of Zabadani for more than a month.

A coalition of rebel groups which calls itself Jaysh al-Fateh, or Conquest Army, retaliated by attacking Foua and Kfarya, which are home to mostly Shiite villagers. A large number of civilians are trapped there by the fighting.