The Syrian government says it will observe a ceasefire brokered by U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan. The regime warned it still has the right to defend itself against attacks. ITN's Paul Davies reports.
BEIRUIT -- The deadline for a U.N.-backed ceasefire aimed at halting more than a year of violence in Syria passed on Thursday with no immediate reports of fighting, activists said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported the sound of explosions in the town of Zabadani, close to the border with Lebanon, shortly after the 6 a.m.deadline expired, but said it was not clear what had caused the blasts.
A resident of the town said there had been shelling of the town overnight, but that she heard nothing after the deadline. Other activists in the cities of Hama, Homs and Damascus said the situation was calm.
Syria's Defense Ministry said on Wednesday it would halt operations on Thursday morning, but made no mention of an army pullback from cities and said it would confront "any assault" by armed groups. Attacks on opposition neighborhoods over the last week have fuelled doubts it would comply with the truce.
None of the activists said they had seen any sign of tanks pulling back from urban centers, one of the points Syria agreed to under the ceasefire.
More from msnbc.com and NBC News:
- F-1 cars to race amid deadly Bahrain crackdown?
- N.Koreans desperate for Western approval of launch
- Hollywood drama in Chinese political murder-mystery
- F-15s scrambled as 'credible bomb threat' diverts jetliner
- When the Olympics is your neighbor
Follow us on Twitter: @msnbc_world