BEIRUT: Syrian security forces killed at least four civilians on Friday in the central provinces of Homs and Hama, where anti-regime protests were set to take place, a rights watchdog said.
Three people died when troops opened fire on their vehicle near an intersection in Hama, and a fourth person was shot in the region of Homs, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Opposition activists have called for protests across the country after the weekly Muslim prayers under the slogan "Our loyalty (to the revolution) is our salvation".
Anti-regime demonstrations have been staged after prayers each Friday since the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad's iron-fisted rule broke out in March 2011.
The violence has killed more than 11,000 people.
On Thursday 23 people died, including four students killed when regime troops stormed the campus at Aleppo University, in northern Syria, following anti-regime protests.
The killings marked a serious escalation in Syria's second city and commercial hub, largely spared the violence shaking the country for nearly 14 months. (AFP)