BEIRUT - Members of Syria's internal opposition held a rare meeting in Damascus on Sunday to call for a peaceful end to President Bashar Assad's rule, after months of fighting in which thousands have been killed.

The meeting went ahead with the blessing of authorities despite the arrest of several opposition figures in recent days and accusations from rebel forces that it gave a false signal that Assad is seeking a political solution to Syria's crisis.

Rajaa Nasser, one of the organizers of the Syria Salvation Conference, called for "an immediate halt to the shooting, a halt to the brutal and barbaric shelling, a truce and a pause for the fighters."

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