Arab League monitors met Syria's foreign minister on Saturday, a day after suicide bombers killed 44 people in attacks Damascus blamed on al-Qaeda, but which the opposition said were the government's work.
Thousands of people in the Syrian capital took part in funerals, and mourners carried coffins draped in Syrian flags into the eighth-century Omayyad mosque.The funerals turned into pro-government rallies, with Syrians chanting "Death to America" during the processions in Damascus, the Reuters news agency reported.
The bombings, which hit two security buildings on Friday, were the first against the powerful security services in the heart of the capital since an uprising against Assad began in March.
An Arab League delegation met Walid Muallem, the Syrian foreign minister, on Saturday to discuss the arrival of a team to oversee a deal aimed at ending nine months of bloodshed.
Residents in the Syrian city of Homs told Al Jazeera on Saturday that army tanks were shelling the city. Activists in the Bab Amr district said they had been under seige for the last 48 hours. "There is heavy bombardments going on since early morning and there is non stop firing so far," a resident of Bab Amr told Al Jazeera on Saturday. "So many people are been killed, we have counted so far 16 people have been killed and we've got so many injured, so many houses have been destroyed and we don't know what to do. Everywhere from every side we can see tanks very clearly and different types of heavy machine guns have been used since morning."
Meanwhile, the bodies of four civilians who had been arrested were found on Saturday with signs of torture in restive Homs province, activists said. They also said at least 21 civilians were killed across the country on Friday.