The superpower-backed cease-fire ending the 1973 Middle East War appeared to be taking hold today despite reports of clashes by Israeli and Egyptian troops along the Suez Canal.
Egypt said the Israelis resumed their attempts to storm Suez City with tanks but were pushed back. It said Egyptian forces destroyed 11 of the enemy tanks.
An Israeli spokesman reported sporadic, unorganized fighting with encircled Egyptian troops on the East Bank of the canal, but said most of the southern front and all of the north were quiet.
Syria agreed the northern front was calm, but Egypt accused Israel early today of using "guided missiles and napalm" in raids against the oil port of Suez at the southern end of the 102-mile-long waterway.
UN observers began planting truce flags today to mark off territory seized by each side during the fourth Middle East war in 25 years, but predicted increased problems in keeping the Arabs and Israelis apart.
"It is going to be even tougher this time," a UN truce observer said in Cairo. "Before we had the canal between the Israelis and the Egyptians and it was not difficult to spot infractions. Now the Egyptians are on the East Bank and the Israelis are on the West Bank. We are going to need a lot more men to police these various pockets."
Egypt asked the United Nations last night to send Soviet and U.S. troops to the region to police the on-again, off-again truce which had been scheduled to go into effect Monday evening.
Foreign Minister Nohamed Hassan El-Zayyat told an emergency meeting of the Security Council the two superpowers "have a special responsibility" to save the truce.
A White House spokesman, however, rejected the Egyptian proposal, saying, "We have no intention of sending troops to the Middle East and we hope other outside powers would not send troops to the Middle East."
The Soviet Union criticized Israel last night for prolonging the fighting in the Middle East and called on the United States to curb the Israelis.
"No reasonable man will believe the impotence of the United States in this matter," Soviet Ambassador Yakov A. Malik told the council.
In Washington, the State Department said the United States was willing to talk to the Soviet Union about a mutual reduction of emergency arms shipments to the Middle East.