Reuters International

A boy rides a bicycle near rubble of damaged buildings in the rebel held al-Maadi district of Aleppo, Syria, August 31, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail

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GENEVA (Reuters) - Talks between senior Russian and American officials aiming for a broad ceasefire in Syria are likely to last into the weekend, as the conflict intensifies further, the United Nations Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura said on Thursday.

"We hope negotiations which have lasted too long, reach an outcome. Time is short," he told reporters in Geneva.

There was still hope of agreeing a 48-hour truce in the northern city of Aleppo to allow aid deliveries, his humanitarian advisor Jan Egeland said. De Mistura called on major and regional powers including Iran and Saudi Arabia to help smooth the way for a weekly halt in the fighting there.

As an end-August target for restarting peace talks slipped away, de Mistura said he planned a new political initiative to bring the conflict to the attention of the U.N. General Assembly later this month, without elaborating.

(Reporting by Tom Miles and Stephanie Nebehay)

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