December 29, 2016 / 11:57 AM / 8 months ago

Syrian army says countrywide ceasefire to start midnight Thursday

A boy walks his bike near stacked sandbags in al-Rai town, northern Aleppo province, Syria December 27, 2016.Khalil Ashawi

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The Syrian army announced a nationwide halt to fighting to begin at midnight on Thursday, in a move designed to pave the way for a political solution to end the country's six-year-old war.

In a statement carried by Syrian state news agency SANA, the army said the ceasefire will begin at 0000 on Dec. 30.

It excluded Islamic State, the group formerly known as the Nusra Front and all groups linked to them.

Reporting by Lisa Barringtonl; editing by John Stonestreet

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