UN says Syria claims troop withdrawal has begun

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GENEVA (AP) -- The spokesman for U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan says Syria is claiming that it has already begun troop withdrawals in some areas.

Ahmad Fawzi says officials with President Bashar Assad's government "have told us they have begun withdrawing troops from certain areas" of Syria, including Daraa, Idlib and Zabadani.

Fawzi told reporters Thursday in Geneva that a Syrian ceasefire is expected to begin no later than 48 hours after April 10.

He says "the clock starts on the 10th for both sides to cease all forms of violence."

His comments come as activists said Syrian troops were attacking a suburb of the capital in what they described as one of the most violent campaigns since the year-old uprising began.