At least 70 people have been killed during the latest unrest in Syria, according to a London-based monitoring group.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says as many as 50 people died including 13 children, when government forces attacked the town of Houla in Homs province.
Video uploaded to social media sites purportedly shows shelling and protests in Homs as well as anti-government demonstrations in the cities of Aleppo and Deraa. We cannot independently verify the footage.
Violence continues to rage as UN envoy to Syria Kofi Annan prepares to visit the country early next week.
It will be his first visit since he presented a plan to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad two months ago.
An agreed ceasefire has been repeatedly-violated.
In Aleppo and Idlib provinces, thousands of protesters took to the streets after Friday prayers. Uk-based observers say army tanks were deployed and eight people were killed.
Meanwhile, Lebanon says a group of Lebanese Shi-ites kidnapped in Syria have been freed and would arrive home in the next few hours.
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