At least 32 people were killed during protests across Syria on Friday, the Al Jazeera network reported.

Activists told the network that the deaths came as protesters, emboldened by the presence of Arab League observers in the country, took to the streets after noon Muslim prayers.

The demonstrations were taking place in 18 different provinces across Syria, Al Jazeera said.

A witness to the clashes between security forces and demonstrators in the Damascus suburb of Douma said government forces shot at protesters who gathered at a mosque in the city.

He said, “More than 100 people are injured right now. It is a very bad situation in Douma today.”

The violence comes as the Arab League observer team in Syria continues its mission aimed at determining whether President Bashar al-Assad is implementing a peace plan to end the violence.

Earlier on Friday, amateur video footage showed Arab League observers running from gunfire as security forces opened fire on civilians.

The opposition has condemned the observers’ presence as a farce to enable Assad to buy time and avoid more international censure and sanctions.

Activists told Al Jazeera on Friday they doubt that Arab monitors are getting the access they need to be able to give a fair assessment of the violence that the UN estimates has left more than 5,000 people.

One member of the observer team told Al Jazeera on Friday the situation in Syria was “very dangerous,” adding there was constant shelling in the city of Homs with some areas under control of the Free Syrian Army, an umbrella group of armed anti-government fighters.

Meanwhile, Hadi Abdullah, an activist in Homs, told Al Jazeera that while the monitors had witnessed the crackdown on protests, he was suspicious on how they would report it.

“The observers saw a lot of violence in the city,” Abdullah said. “They saw how security forces shoot at protests. They also saw the bodies of dead people.”

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)