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Opposition calls for protests tomorrow

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BEIRUT (AP) -- Syria's opposition is calling for widespread protests in the streets tomorrow. The goal is to test the government's commitment to a cease-fire that was worked out by an international envoy.

Government forces today stopped their heavy shelling and other major attacks. But U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warns that it's a "fragile" cease-fire that could be broken at any time.

Although the fighting eased, Syria's government ignored demands to pull its troops back to their barracks. It's a key aspect of the plan aimed at calming an uprising that has left 9,000 people dead over the past year.

The presence of tanks and troops could discourage any large gatherings tomorrow. But the leader of a major opposition group is urging Syrians to demonstrate peacefully.

If there's a massive protest, the Assad regime will have to decide whether forces will hold their fire and risk allowing a sit-in that could last weeks. An outbreak of violence at a rally could give the regime a pretext for ending the truce.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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