The Syrian government's mounting security crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators triggered a strike on Tuesday by private businesses in towns across the southern province of Daraa, Lebanon-based activists told dpa.
"Troops are now entering several areas in Daraa to end the strike, but protesters wanted it to become a show of civil disobedience," said an activist whose code name is Omran Shaker.
"The people are angry because the level of killing is increasing day by day and they have no choice but to try every means to confront this brutal regime," Shaker added.
Activists said that all telecommunications had been cut in Daraa province and people were confined to their homes.
In the city of Homs, north of Damascus, Syrian security forces killed two people as they were leaving a mosque in a majority Sunni Muslim district that has been a bastion for protests.
Meanwhile, the state-run news agency SANA said the Syrian authorities had seized a truck loaded with weapons and explosives on the Damascus-Quneitra Highway.
According to SANA the weapons were covered with vegetables and fruits.
The Syrian government has been blaming the unrest across the country on terrorist gangs financed by the west and some Arab countries intent on destabilizing Syria. They said some 1,100 army and policemen had been killed by the terrorist gangs.
The United Nations estimates that more than 3,000 people, including 187 children, have been killed in the regime's crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, which started mid-March.