BEIRUT -  A Syrian human rights group says at least 24 people have been killed across Syria on Friday -- including 15 villagers who tried to approach the besieged southern city of Daraa.

Human rights activist Mustafa Osso said the death toll could rise. He is the head of a human rights group based in Syria, which compiles death tolls from the crackdown.

Thousands of people took to the streets across the country Friday, calling for President Bashar Assad's downfall and pledging support for the citizens of Daraa.

Daraa is at the heart of the country's six-week uprising. The regime has unleashed the army, backed by tanks and snipers, to crush the protest movement.