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By Lisa Barrington and Tom Perry BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian rebels in besieged eastern Aleppo called on Wednesday for an immediate five-day ceasefire and the evacuation of civilians and wounded, but gave no indication they were ready to withdraw as demanded by Damascus and Moscow. The Syrian army and allied forces have made rapid gains against insurgents in the past two weeks and look closer than ever to restoring full control over Aleppo, Syria's most populous city before the war, and achieving their most important victory of the conflict now in its sixth year. In a statement, the rebels called for talks about the future of the city once the humanitarian situation has been improved, but made no mention of evacuating fighters who are defending an ever shrinking area of eastern Aleppo.
By Jibran Ahmed PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - There are unlikely to be any survivors from a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane carrying about 40 people that crashed on Wednesday in a mountainous northern region, a government official at the crash site said. PIA said its plane lost contact with the control tower en route to the capital, Islamabad, from the northern region of Chitral. The debris is scattered," Taj Muhammad Khan, a government official based in Havelian, told Reuters.