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1500 UTC Newscast for August 11, 2016

Smoke rises from a Syrian regime-controlled cement factory, in Aleppo, Syria, Aug. 9, 2016. Russia announced a cease-fire to permit humanitarian aid into the city Wednesday.
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From Washington, this is VOA News.

I’m Michael Brown reporting.

Russia says it will temporarily cease military operations in the Syrian city of Aleppo for three hours starting Thursday to allow humanitarian aid to get in, but media reports say fighting continues.

The Special Advisor to the UN Special Envoy to Syria, Jan Egeland, says they are waiting for the “all clear” to deliver the badly-needed supplies.

“There are enormous resources ready, and humanitarian workers willing to take the risk to go into these zones if they get the permission, and they are not at the moment.”

Attacks this week have severely damaged Aleppo's electric and water infrastructure, while the main supply routes to both the eastern and western parts of the city have been cut in recent weeks, making an already severe humanitarian situation much worse.

Pakistani officials say Afghan security forces are making efforts to secure the safe release of the crew of a Pakistani helicopter that crashed inside Afghanistan last week while flying to Russia.

Residents and officials said all the men on board survived, but were taken hostage by Taliban insurgents because of a lack of government authority in the area.

Members of the anti-state Pakistani Taliban, who are believed to be hiding in border areas of Afghanistan, have also denied involvement.

And, Turkey carried out deadly airstrikes against Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq and raided pro-Kurdish political offices in Istanbul after deadly bombings blamed on the rebels hit southeastern Turkey.

Turkey often conducts similar airstrikes as part of its campaign against members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, which has waged a decades-long insurgency.

This is VOA News.

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