Varying reports on Friday's death toll from Syria have sparked international criticism as the fragile Arab League roadmap to solve the crisis in the country is already under serious threat. Syrian security forces acted in force after Friday prayers, surrounding mosques to prevent demonstrations and using gunfire to disperse crowds, opposition groups said
Up to 15 people has been killed, according to the Syrian Revolution Committee, including six in Homs, two in Hamavor and two in Minut .
Activists called nationwide protests on Friday to challenge the regime's commitment to the Arab League deal to remove all the tanks and armoured vehicles off the streets.
Pro-regime troops opened fire from tanks in several residential neighbourhood of Homs, Syria's largest city and one of the key focuses of the protests which started in March. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that security forces have arrested dozens of people in the city of Baniyas including four children who are the relatives of the Director of the London-based association. They have also surrounded the Mosque and attacked the prayers leaving the place, according to the organisation.
"Two people were killed, one of them a woman, when the Baba Amro neighbourhood was raked with heavy machinegun fire," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement. "Gunfire was also heard from other neighbourhoods of Homs," the Britain-based watchdog added, as protesters prepared to take to the streets across the country after the main weekly Muslim prayers.
Medicals officials at the main hospital in Homs told the BBC that more than 100 bodies had arrived in the past few days. More than 200 civilians have been arrested on the whole on Friday by the security forces. According to AlJazeera, the security forces shot live ammunition at protesters in Al-Qaboon neighbourhood. Video footage posted on YouTube showed dozens of demonstrators, some of them masked, marching through the historic Midan neighbourhood of the capital ahead of the noon prayers, chanting anti-Syrian President Bashar al-Assad slogans.
Earlier on Friday, Assad has called for protestors to come forward to get amnesty. "The interior ministry calls on citizens who carried weapons, sold them, delivered them, transported them or funded buying them, and did not commit crimes, to hand themselves into the nearest police station," Syrian state TV said today. "The interior ministry assures that those who turn themselves in will then be freed immediately and it will be considered as a general amnesty."
However, Syria allegedly broke its commitments to an Arab League peace deal by continuing a clampdown on protesters in another day of bloodshed. "The continuing repression can only strengthen the international community's doubts about the Syrian regime's sincerity to implement the Arab League peace plan," the French foreign ministry's deputy spokesman, Romain Nadal, told AFP.
In the meanwhile, supports to the Syrian insurgents' cause come from the Occupy movement in London. Demonstrators at St Paul's Cathedral linked on Friday with protesters in Damascus and Homs in Syria in a two-way livestream which is unprecedented in the UK. Around 50-based Syrians took part in the protest, which streamed live to Syria.
In London the house of President Assad's father-in-law, Dr Fawaz al-Akhras, has been attacked by night-time protesters, who wasted his small garden, painted the front door and smashed the windows.