Security forces fired at protesters in several Syrian towns on Friday killing at least three, activists said.

A protester was killed in the town of Kanaker, 30 km (19 miles) southwest of Damascus and two in the city of Homs. Security forces also fired live bullets to stop a crowd of several thousands from marching in Hama, 240 km (150 miles) north of Damascus, they said.

Lots of people fell on the ground with bullet wounds and we are afraid that some will not make it, Mohammad, a resident of Kanaker, said by telephone.

Protests in and around Damascus also came under fire. Three protesters were wounded when they marched out of the main mosque in the southern city of Deraa, they added.

In the port city of Latakia, an activist said he counted 13 security pick-up trucks surrounding the main Arsalan mosque. He said at least three protesters were wounded by security forces firing in front of the Bazar mosque in the centre of the city.

They were hit and taken by the security forces. In front of every mosque in Latakia there are several hundred security personnel touting either batons, handguns, or automatic rifles, he said.

In Maarat al-Numaan, a main town on the Damascus-Aleppo highway, a resident said troops manned roadblocks and snipers took positions on rooftops.

Freedom, freedom despite you Assad, shouted thousands of protesters in the town.

Youtube footage showed a crowd locking shoulders in the town of Deir Baalba on the edge of Homs and chanting the people want the execution of Assad.

Syrian authorities have banned most independent media from the country, making it hard to verify reports of violence.

The violence comes despite an agreement the Syrian government made with the Arab League this week to stop shooting and start talking to its opponents.

(Reporting by Khaled Yacoub Oweis; Editing by Jon Hemming)