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Syrians in government-controlled areas cast their ballots in the first local elections there since 2011, when the country’s ill-fated uprising erupted against President Bashar al-Assad’s rule. More than 6,550 voting centres opened at 7:00 am (0400 GMT) across government-held parts of the country with more than 40,000 candidates competing for 18,478 seats on local administrative councils, state media reported.