Discuss as:

Protests, fighting go on as UN pushes for Syria cease-fire

Anonymous / AP

Syrians raise their hands vowing to continue fighting until President Bashar Assad's regime falls during a protest in a neighborhood in Damascus on April 4, 2012.

Reuters reports — Syrian troops fought rebels in a town near Damascus on Thursday before a senior U.N. peacekeeper was due to seek President Bashar al-Assad's agreement for 250 unarmed U.N. observers to monitor a U.N.-backed ceasefire next week.

Explosions and heavy machinegun fire rocked Douma, 8 miles from the capital, sending columns of smoke rising from several buildings, anti-Assad activists from the Revolutionary Council of the Damascus Countryside said.

Fighting shows no sign of abating even though Assad agreed more than a week ago to a six-point peace plan drawn up by U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan to end the year-long conflict. Continue reading.

Anonymous / AP

Syrian activists prepare signs for upcoming protests, at a house in a neighborhood in Damascus on April 3, 2012. The Arabic on the poster, center, reads