Syrian forces ambushed and killed nine army deserters in a north Damascus suburb on Monday, a human rights watchdog said, as NATO ruled out military action against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
The bloodletting also appeared to spill over into neighbouring Lebanon where two people were killed overnight in street battles between pro- and anti-Syrian groups in Beirut, a security official said.
The nine army deserters were killed as they were retreating under cover of darkness from the village of Jisr al-Ab near Damascus's Douma suburb, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The Britain-based watchdog on Sunday had reported fighting between rebels and regime troops near Douma, during which the RPG exploded near a team of UN military observers.
Heavy fighting also raged overnight between soldiers and rebels in other parts of Damascus province, despite an April 12 truce brokered by envoy Kofi Annan that the UN observers are overseeing.
"But again NATO has no intention to intervene in Syria."
NATO states have come under criticism for backing the air war in Libya but ruling out military intervention in Syria, where opposition demonstrators and badly outgunned rebels have been hammered by heavily-armed regime forces.
After Sunday's Douma blast, Ladsous said: "I think this is clearly one of these situations where it is absolutely imperative that all parties exercise restraint and do not engage in any more fighting."
An AFP correspondent said Douma's streets were deserted and most of its shops closed.
"When the observers leave, the armed men will come back to cause trouble," a soldier said, in a reference to rebels.
Ladsous met Foreign Minister Walid Muallem on Sunday to discuss the mission, with state-run SANA news agency saying the Syrian official had informed him that armed rebels had violated the UN-backed ceasefire hundreds of times.
Sunday's blast followed several other close calls for the UN monitors since they deployed in Syria, where 260 observers are now on the ground according to Mood.
On May 16, a homemade bomb struck a convoy of UN observers in the flashpoint central city of Homs, damaging three vehicles but causing no casualties.
A roadside bomb hit a similar convoy on May 9 as they entered the key southern city of Daraa, wounding six Syrian soldiers escorting them.
Sunday saw a bloodbath in other parts of Syria too, with at least 48 people reported killed, including 34 civilians slain in the village of Souran in the central Hama province, the Observatory said.
The bloodshed came a day after a suicide car bomb attack in Syria's main eastern city of Deir Ezzor killed at least nine people and wounded 100 others.
The bombing was claimed Monday by an Islamist group, the Al-Nusra front, which said "a suicide bomber rammed a car bomb against buildings of military security, and aviation information, causing deaths and injuries among members of the regime."
It said it was "determined to continue its operations to clean the land of the Alawites and end the injustice that strikes the Sunnis" in Syria.
The violence in Syria appeared to spill over into Beirut, with overnight street battles between pro- and anti-Syrian groups.
"During the night, groups of young men cut off the road in the Tareek el-Jdideh district and street battles followed," a security official said.
"Two people were killed and 18 were wounded," he said, adding machineguns had been fired and that the fighting had raged until about 3:00 am (2400 GMT).
The clashes broke out after reports emerged army troops had shot dead an anti-Syria Sunni cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Abdul Wahid, when his convoy failed to stop at a checkpoint in north Lebanon on Sunday.
The cleric's killing followed a week of intermittent clashes that left 10 people dead in Lebanon's northern port city of Tripoli between Sunnis hostile to the Syrian regime and Alawites who support Assad.
A Lebanese judicial official said 21 soldiers, including three officers, were being questioned by military police in relation to the cleric's death.
Reflecting mounting fears of an escalation, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait urged their citizens to avoid travel to Lebanon, while the US embassy in Lebanon advised its citizens of the potential for violence during the three days of mourning called for Wahid's death.
Source: AFP Global Edition