21 Oct 2012

Ceasefire talks begun by envoy

7:33 am on 21 October 2012

UN and Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has begun talks with the Syrian government on a ceasefire.

He met Foreign Minister Walid Muallem in Damascus on Saturday.

The BBC reports Mr Brahimi hopes to secure a truce between the government and rebel forces next week, for the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.

Shelling could be heard in the suburbs of Damascus early on Saturday. Fighting was also reported in the northern town of Harem, on the border with Turkey.