Syrian troops killed a teenage boy on Friday as protests broke out across the country urging international protection from a deadly government crackdown on dissent, activists said.
"A 15-year-old boy was martyred when soldiers manning a checkpoint opened fire in the village of Al-Rama, in Jabal al-Zawiyah," in the northwest, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement.
The rights advocacy group also reported protests in several parts of the country after weekly Muslim prayers on Friday -- the day of rest that has seen regular anti-regime protests since mid-March.
It said "huge protests" gripped the eastern oil hub city of Deir Ezzor, as worshippers emerged from mosques and took to the streets "despite heavy security deployment."
Protests also swept several parts of the capital Damascus, activists said.
More than 150 people marched in the flashpoint neighbourhood of Barza chanting slogans of support for the rebellious central province of Homs "for the protection of Syria and the fall of the regime," the Observatory said.
Similar scenes were repeated in the neighbourhoods of Al-Hajar al-Aswad, where arrests were reported, and in Midan, it said.
Democracy activists have called on the United Nations to send international observers to Syria and urged nationwide protests Friday.
"The Syrian people calls on the United Nations to adopt a resolution to set up a permanent observer mission in Syria," activists said on their Facebook page "Syrian Revolution 2011."
"We demand access to the international media, we demand the protection of civilians," they said.
More than 2,200 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in the government's crackdown on almost daily pro-democracy demonstrations in Syria since mid-March, according to the United Nations.