Families return to Damascus suburb under local ceasefire

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Around 4,000 people returned to a neighborhood in the south of Syrian capital Damascus on Wednesday as part of a local ceasefire agreed more than a year ago, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Syrian state news agency said 500 families had returned to the al-Qadam neighborhood, where a ceasefire between the government and insurgents was agreed in August 2014. One of the conditions was that residents should be allowed to return to their homes after infrastructure had been rebuilt.

The truce had called for the complete withdrawal of the Syrian army from the district, with army checkpoints at its entrances only.

The Observatory said their return had nothing to do with a separate agreement by which members of the Islamic State group and their families were due to leave the same district on Wednesday. This has yet to happen.

The Syrian government has made numerous local ceasefire agreements over the course of the five-year-long conflict.

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