Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters took to the streets of Syria in a test of the fragile truce. Security forces reportedly shot dead at least five people rattling the two-day old cease-fire.
Syrians took to the streets across the country in demonstrations after Friday prayers responding to opposition calls to take advantage of the UN-backed cease-fire.
Security forces used guns and tear gas and beat some protestors, but refrained from wide-scale shelling or other actions that would violate the truce.
"Today the Syrian people will test the regime of [President] Bashar al-Assad," Abu Kamal, a resident in the town of Zabadani on the outskirts of Damascus told the DPA news agency.
Security forces were reported to have been out in force, at times using gunfire to block major protests from taking place. Activists said they killed five protesters.
Opposition members estimated that tens of thousands took part in the nationwide protests.
The cease-fire, which came into effect on Thursday, was still largely holding, though clashes were reported on Syria's border with Turkey on Friday.
"Fighting with heavy machine guns took place in Khirbet al-Joz, located on the Turkish border, between regime soldiers and [army] deserters," Rami Abdel Rahman of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told AFP.
The Local Coordination committees also reported heavy gunfire in the border village.
Violence on Thursday killed at least eight people, activists said.
These reports were impossible to verify due to severe restrictions on journalists in the country.
Regime fails to pull out troops
While the fighting has died down, critics noted that the Syrian government had not ordered its troops back to their barracks as agreed under the plan. This may be part of the reason the truce is viewed with widespread skepticism.
Following a meeting of G8 foreign ministers in Washington, US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton called on the Syrian government to implement this and all other measures it committed itself to when it agreed to the cease-fire plan.
ncy/msh (Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa)