Violence in Syria has gravely escalated in the past few days, the head of Arab League observer team to the country said in a statement Friday.
Sudanese General Mohammed Ahmed al-Dabi said the cities of Homs, Hama and Idlib have all witnessed a "very high escalation" in violence since Tuesday.
Meanwhile, opposition sources told al-Jazeera that 33 people were killed Friday by security forces. The al-Arabiya network reported 44 fatalities.
Two days of bloody turmoil in Syria killed more than 50 people as forces loyal to President Bashar Assad shelled residential buildings, fired on crowds and left bleeding corpses in the streets in a dramatic escalation of violence, activists said Friday.
Much of the violence was focused in Homs, where heavy gunfire hammered the city Friday in a second day of chaos. A day earlier, the city saw a flare-up of sectarian kidnappings and killings between its Sunni and Alawite communities, and pro-regime forces blasted residential buildings with mortars and gunfire, according to activists who said an entire family was killed.
Video posted online by activists showed the bodies of five small children, five women of varying ages and a man, all bloodied and piled on beds in what appeared to be an apartment after a building was hit in the Karm el-Zaytoun neighborhood of the city. A narrator said an entire family had been "slaughtered."
The video could not be independently verified.
In an attempt to stop the bloodshed in Syria, the United Nations Security Council was to hold a closed-door meeting Friday to discuss the crisis, a step toward a possible resolution against the Damascus regime, diplomats said.
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