Syrian troops killed at least 23 people when demonstrators took to the streets denouncing "despots and tyrants," as world powers cast doubt on the regime s commitment to an Arab peace deal.
Troops raked several residential neighbourhoods of Homs a city of some one million people that has been at the frontline of protests raging since mid-March with heavy machine guns mounted on tanks a watchdog said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 23 people were killed across Syria on Friday nine of them in Homs.
Further north in Hama four civilians were shot while seven people were killed in the town of Kanaker.
Four policemen were also wounded, two critically, in clashes with an "armed terrorist group" in Kanaker, the state-run Sana news agency reported.