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Activists Say Truce Talks on South Syria Fail

(Reuters) -- Syrian activists say the last round of talks with Russian mediators to reach a truce in southwestern Syria have faltered, threatening a relative calm that prevailed for days.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitoring group, said the talks collapsed Wednesday because Russia wanted the rebels to hand in their heavy weapons in a surrender deal that would restore government control over Daraa province.

The opposition had also demanded safe passage to opposition-held northern Syria, a request denied by Russia, according to other activists.

The talks' failure comes after a relative lull in the fighting that has raged for two weeks in the south, displacing up to 300,000 people, many of them moved toward the Jordanian border. The government is already in control of most of Daraa province.

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