Europe

Damascus extends cease-fire by 48 hours

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, and the UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, right, speak to the media during a press briefing after their meeting on Syria in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, May 2, 2016. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, and the UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, right, speak to the media during a press briefing after their meeting on Syria in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, May 2, 2016. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, center left, and UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, center right, arrive for a press briefing after their meeting on Syria in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, May 2, 2016. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, center left, and UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, center right, arrive for a press briefing after their meeting on Syria in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, May 2, 2016. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, and the UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, right, leave after a press briefing after their meeting on Syria in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, May 2, 2016. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, and the UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, right, leave after a press briefing after their meeting on Syria in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, May 2, 2016. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Syria's state news agency says the military has extended its cease-fire around Damascus and opposition strongholds in the eastern suburbs for another 48 hours.

The Monday report said that President Bashar Assad's army would extend the cessation of hostilities that was declared Friday around the capital and the coastal Latakia region, following two weeks of escalating violence around the country.

The truce excludes Aleppo, Syria's largest city and a major battleground between rebels and pro-government forces.

Russia's Tass news agency quoted Russian Lt. Gen. Sergei Kuralenko, head of the Russian coordination center in Syria, as saying that talks are continuing about a cease-fire for Aleppo. He says the Damascus area cease-fire was brokered by the Russia and the U.S., "in agreement with the Syrian leadership and the moderate opposition."