Syrian soldiers backed by tanks killed six people east of Damascus on Sunday, activists said according to Al Jazeera, after the United Nations voted to expand its mission monitoring a 10-day-old ceasefire agreement.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said four people were killed in the town of Douma, one in the village of Htaita and one in the village of Al-Rami in rurual Idlib.

Local activist Omar Hamza put the toll at four, saying two people were killed when the army shelled buildings in Douma, scene of recent protests against President Bashar Assad, and two were killed elsewhere in Damascus province.

International mediator Kofi Annan said on Sunday that the UN Security Council's decision to deploy a further 300 ceasefire monitors in Syria marked a "pivotal moment for the stabilization of the country".

In a statement issued in Geneva, he called on both Syrian government forces and opposition fighters to put down their weapons and work with the unarmed observers to consolidate the fragile ceasefire that took effect 10 days ago.

"The government in particular must desist from the use of heavy weapons and, as it has committed, withdraw such weapons and armed units from population centers and implement fully its commitments under the six-point plan," Annan said, referring to his plan accepted by both sides to end 13 months of violence.

The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a Russian- European drafted resolution Saturday that authorizes an initial deployment of up to 300 unarmed military observers to Syria for three months to monitor a fragile week-old cease-fire.

The vote came hours after UN cease-fire monitors visited the Syrian city of Homs on Saturday following months of bombardment.

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Jpost.com staff contributed to this report

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