Nine bodies, some of them mutilated, were found in town near Damascus
Nine bodies, some of them mutilated, were found in town near Damascus

The European Council has authorised a ban on exports to Syria some luxury or "dual-use" items that could be used for repression on a day when nine more corpses were discovered.

The list of banned items will include caviar, cigars costing more than €10 (£8), leather shoes and garments costing more than €600, pearls and cars costing more than €25,000, AP reported.

Gasmasks as well as certain chemicals and toxins, along with software or other technology needed to make goods on the banned list, will require "authorisation for export", the report added.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said it was necessary for the international community to maintain pressure on Syria to stop the violence.

The fresh sanctions have been designed to prevent ordinary Syrian citizens from being harmed, she said.

More mutilated bodies found

Nine bodies, some of them mutilated, were found in a town near Damascus, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said.

"The bodies of nine people were found in Hamouria in Damascus province, some with their throats slit," SOHR said.

Opposition groups blamed pro-regime militia members of the Shabiha, but SOHR head Rami Abdel Rahman said it was unclear who carried out the massacre.

The Syrian National Council (SNC), Syria's largest umbrella opposition group, said the dead were farmers who had been "slaughtered in cold blood".

Some of the bodies bore marks of mutilation after the killers had "cut off the hands, legs and genitalia" of the corpses, the SNC said.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said army and security forces raided houses and executed some civilians with knives.

SNHR said the regime had employed tactics similar to those used in the massacres that took place in Houla and al-Kubeir. They cut off communication while mass deployment of troops, tanks and armoured vehicles helped spread panic and terror among the inhabitants, it added.

Further violence was reported across the country, with activists saying the regime had launched several offensives in key rebel areas, including in Deir Izzor.

SOHR also reported a blast in the Midan neighbourhood of Damascus and bombardments in the Aleppo and Homs provinces.