* Reported bombardment comes on day 2 of truce
* Army said it reserved right to respond to rebel attacks
* State news say Syriac church bombed
* Lebanese journalist detained by rebels
By Oliver Holmes
BEIRUT, Oct 27 Forces loyal to Syrian President
Bashar al-Assad renewed their bombardment of major cities on
Saturday and rebels launched several attacks, further
undermining a truce meant to mark the Muslim Eid al-Adha
The violence, reported by residents, opposition supporters
and Syria's government, came on the second day of the ceasefire
called by international peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who had
hoped to use it to build momentum to end the 19-month-old
conflict in which an estimated 32,000 people have been killed.
Syrian state news SANA reported dozens of "ceasefire
violations" by rebel groups including a car bomb in front of a
Christian church in the eastern city of Deir al-Zor.
Activists in Deir al-Zor and in Aleppo, which is Syria's
most populous city and about half controlled by rebels, said
mortar bombs were being fired into residential areas.
Residents in Damascus posted internet footage of fighter
jets they said bombed the suburbs of Erbin and Harasta. Eight
people were killed, according to the residents and to the Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based opposition
organisation with a network of sources within Syria.
It was not possible to verify events due to Syria's
restrictions on media access.
The army has said it agreed to the ceasefire but that it has
a duty to respond to rebel attacks.
A commander from the rebel Free Syrian Army said his force
would honour the truce but demanded Assad meet opposition
demands for the release of thousands of detainees. Some Islamist
militants, including the Nusra Front, said they would keep on
More than 150 people were killed on Friday, including 43
soldiers, said the Observatory for Human Rights. Most were shot
by sniper fire or in combat, the Observatory said.
The conflict pits Assad, whose minority Alawite sect is
distantly related to Shi'ite Islam, against mainly Sunni Muslim
rebels. Recent attacks, such as Saturday's bomb by a Syriac
church, point to an increasingly sectarian conflict.
The Observatory released a statement on Saturday condemning
a clash on Friday in the Aleppo district of Ashrafieh between
rebels and an armed wing of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party,
which left 30 dead.
"(The fight) threatens dire consequences. It will work in
the interests of the regime, which is working hard to incite
national sedition and sectarianism," said Observatory head Rami
Syrian state TV said two people were killed in Ashrafieh,
after "terrorists" opened fire on a demonstration calling for
them to leave the area.
Syrian Kurds have long faced discrimination, a lack of full
citizenship rights and forced displacements. But Assad sought to
dissuade them from joining the uprising against him that erupted
elsewhere in March 2011 by promising citizenship.
About 10 percent of the population, Kurds have been able to
exploit an uneasy vacuum left by Assad's retreating forces to
set up their own militia, some with ties to the government.
Rebels in Azaz, a northern Syrian town, reported on their
Facebook page that they have detained Lebanese journalist Fidaa
Itani. They said Itani, who works for LBCI television, was put
under house arrest as his work was "incompatible with the course
of the Syrian revolution."
A Reuters cameraman in the Turkish border village of
Besaslan in southern Hatay province said he could hear a
helicopter circling on the Syrian side of the border, as well as
gunfire and explosions.
Turkish ambulances were ferrying wounded people from an
unofficial border crossing for treatment in Turkey.
Brahimi's ceasefire appeal won widespread international
support, including from Russia, China and Iran, Assad's main
The peace envoy's predecessor, former U.N. chief Kofi Annan,
declared a ceasefire in Syria on April 12, but it soon fell
apart, along with the rest of his six-point peace plan.
Divided international powers have been unable to stop the
violence, with the West condemning Assad but blaming Russia,
Iran and China for supporting Damascus.
Russia's deputy foreign minister Gennady Gatilov tweeted on
Saturday that "Westerners" in the United Nations Security
Council had prevented the body from condemning a bomb attack in
Damascus on Friday, which the Syrian government blames on rebels
it labels as "terrorists."