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    British troops are establishing a "neutral zone" in the middle of Nicosia - but with mixed success so far.

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    Background: British troops are establishing a "neutral zone" in the middle of Nicosia - but with mixed success so far. The area includes the city's main market, deserted by the Greek-Cypriot stallholders in favour of a temporary site outside the city walls. Hopes of bringing them back of means of the neutral zone, however, are receding. The stallholders are still suspicious of Turk riots inside the city and their temporary home is proving a flourishing business proposition, with trade making brisk headway.

    The old city of Nicosia is one of two places in Cyprus not included in Sir Hugh Foot's relaxation of the three-week-old night curfew. Sir Hugh announced the concession on returning from London yesterday, Sunday. The old city has been the scene recently of fire-raising in a Greek-Cypriot church. In the other still-curfewed place - a village near Famagusta - Greek Cypriots yesterday attacked a British patrol with bottles and petrol bombs. The patrol returned fire. Four soldiers were hurt by a bomb and one Greek was injured. Another British soldier was injured yesterday, and a Greek stabbed to death in a clash with Turks, but a report from Nicosia says that an Ecka leaflet recommends a period of calm in which direct talks can be started between Archbishop Makarios, exiled Enosis leader, and the British government.

    Explosions in Cyprus at the weekend - not illegal for a change - signalled the start of the Muslim festival of Qurban Bairam. This, the festival of sacrifice, is one of the two principal festivals of the Muslim world. People of Cyprus were forewarned that the festival would be inaugurated by the firing of five cannon.

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