Syria violence kills 40 people following a massacre in the city of Homs

Syrian soldiers who defected join protesters in the al-Khaldiya neighborhood of the restive city of Homs on January 26, 2012. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the army launched an offensive on Thursday evening in the Karm al-Zeitoun district of Homs, killing 26 civilians, including nine children, and wounding dozens.

Activists said security forces killed over 40 people in Syria as people in the city of Homs mourned 14 members of a family slain a day earlier, Reuters reported.

Violence and anti-Assad protests erupted on Friday following the weekly Muslim prayers.

Video posted online showed the bodies of five small children, five women and a man, piled on beds in what appeared to be an apartment after a building was hit in the city of Homs. GlobalPost could not independently verify the video.

More from GlobalPost: Massacre in Syrian city of Homs

Reuters reported that the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 22 people were killed elsewhere in Syria, including 12 caught in the crossfire when security forces fired on a funeral march in Nowa and others in Homs. Activists said 10 were killed in Aleppo.

The Syrian state news agency SANA said "terrorists" had killed a member of Syrian law enforcement in Homs on Friday and a bomb killed a child and wounded several others in Damascus.

Al Jazeera also reported a car bomb exploded on Friday at a checkpoint outside Idlib.

The news agency said the head of the Arab League's monitoring mission released a statement saying over the last three days violence had risen "in a significant way" especially in Homs, Hama and Idlib.

More from GlobalPost: UN Security Council considers next steps for Syria

Seeking to put an end to the violence, the UN Security Council held a closed-doors meeting on a new European-Arab draft resolution. The council will likely vote on the measure next week but Russia has expressed disappointment with any measure that would use foreign military intervention.