The relentless military assault in Syria to crush the uprising has prompted protesters to call for international protection, according to residents and activists.
Homs has reportedly again borne the brunt of the repression. Amateur video posted on the internet shows tanks in the streets; film apparently taken from a car shows shuttered shops amid what has been reported as a general strike.
As usual the authenticity of the latest pictures cannot be verified.
Large crowds are since said to have gathered after Friday prayers in Homs, demanding outside help to stop the violence.
The underground opposition has appealed for human rights monitors to help deter attacks on civilians. Several more deaths have been reported this week.
New pictures said to be from Deraa show a large gathering of chanting protesters at night. There have also been calls in the southern city for international help.
In most parts of the country large protests have been virtually impossible. The military launched offensives in several new cities last month against what the authorities call “armed terrorists”.
Activists say more soldiers have defected to the opposition.