Syria truce offers glimpses of normality

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By Suleiman Al-Khalidi AMMAN (Reuters) - In the devastated Syrian city of Aleppo, children are outside playing and many people are going to the shops safely for the first time in months thanks to a partial halt to the war that is providing relief even if most doubt that peace will take hold. Where were all these people hiding?” said a bewildered Mahmoud Ashrafi, speaking to Reuters by telephone after picking through opposition-held areas of Aleppo wrecked by barrel bombs and air strikes. While the "cessation of hostilities" has fallen short of halting the five-year-long war across the country, parts of Syria have enjoyed an unusual period of peace since the U.S.-Russian agreement came into effect on Saturday.