Syrian security forces are reported to have killed five people in Homs, the day after the government agreed to an Arab League plan to pull the army out of cities.
Activists said tanks fired heavy machineguns and anti-aircraft guns in the residential area of Bab Amro, which has witnessed many protests.
One resident said after celebrating the deal they had woken up to rain and shelling.
China, which has resisted a western push for UN condemnation of the government’s crackdown, has welcomed the Arab plan.
Foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said:
“We hope that all parties involved in Syria take concrete measures to stop all violence and create conditions to resolve the problem through dialogue and negotiation. We support the efforts of the Arab League to promote the easing of tensions and to maintain the overall interest of the people and regional stability.”
After the deal was announced in Cairo the US repeated its call for President Assad to quit.
The Arab plan also says Syria should allow journalists and monitors into the country.
One analyst, Sami Baroudi from the Lebanese American University in Beirut, has said it is too early to judge Syria’s response.
“I wouldn’t throw this initiative into the waste basket because nothing happened immediately”, he said.