The U.N. observer force on Friday accused both sides in the Syrian conflict of hampering its peace mission and admitted its limitations in the face of escalating violence.
France, meanwhile, said that world powers could hold a summit on the Syrian crisis as the deadly anti-regime revolt entered its 16th month.
"Violence, over the past 10 days, has been intensifying, again willingly by both the parties, with losses on both sides and significant risks to our observers," the force's chief Major General Robert Mood told a news conference in Damascus.
A U.N. convoy trying to reach Al-Haffe, a town in northwest Syria under siege by regime troops, came under fire on Tuesday and was forced to turn back by a stone-throwing crowd of pro-regime residents of a nearby village.
The observer team was finally able to visit the town two days later, finding it all but deserted with a strong stench of dead bodies and most state buildings gutted by fire.
Mood said it was the Syrian people who were suffering the consequences of the failure to implement U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan's peace plan.
"There is no other plan on the table, yet it is not being implemented," the veteran Norwegian peacekeeper said. "Instead there is a push towards advancing military positions."
Mood warned that "this is not a static mission," adding that the mission's mandate would come under review by the U.N. Security Council at the end of July. "It is important that the parties give this mission a chance," he stressed.
On the ground, at least 15 people were killed in violence on Friday, including two demonstrators killed in the northern city of Aleppo by regime forces as thousands protested against the regime across Syria, a monitoring group said.
Activists uploaded videos of protests outside mosques or street marches on what they named a "Friday of Readiness."
Eight people were killed in Busra al-Sham in the southern province of Daraa in an explosion outside a mosque, while another blast was reported in Al-Midan area of Damascus, without reports of casualties.
Regime forces also tried to reassert control over the central city of Homs and the town of Andan in Aleppo province, clashing with rebels and leaving two people dead in shelling, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The Britain-based group had reported at least another 84 people killed in clashes and bombings nationwide on Thursday.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said major powers could hold a conference at the end of the month in Geneva on the crisis which erupted in mid-March 2011 and has since cost more than 14,400 lives, according to the Observatory.
"There is a possibility of holding a conference in Geneva on June 30," Fabius told France Inter radio.
Participants would include U.N. Security Council countries, but the meeting would be held "without the constraints of the Security Council," he added.
Fabius also said that talks were under way with Russia on Syria's future if President Bashar al-Assad was ousted.
But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov swiftly denied such talks had taken place with France or the United States, which have both been pushing for Assad to step down.
"There were no such discussions and there could not have been such discussions. This completely contradicts our position," Lavrov told reporters. "We are not involved in regime change."
Russia, along with China, has vetoed two Security Council resolutions against Assad and has vowed to oppose any military intervention.
Also on Thursday, 14 people were also wounded in suicide vehicle bombing near an important Shiite Muslim shrine in the capital, the state news agency SANA said.
Syrian authorities said they had uncovered an Al-Qaeda plot to bomb Damascus mosques around the main weekly prayers.
A suspect detained on Thursday confessed that he had been planning a suicide bombing during Friday prayers at Al-Rifai Mosque in the heart of the capital, SANA reported.
The suspect told interrogators that the group's members "have prepared young men... to carry out suicide bombings in several areas in Damascus during prayers on Friday, June 15," SANA said.
In a fresh report of bloodshed, the Syrian Observatory said nine bodies, some of them mutilated, had been found.
"The bodies of nine people were found in Hamouria in Damascus province, some with their throats slit," the watchdog's head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP. "It is unclear who carried out the attack."
In Istanbul, Syrian opposition leaders were meeting on Friday in a bid to settle their differences and forge a united front to confront the escalating conflict in their homeland.
"We will work towards a unified vision," Burhan Ghalioun, the former head of the main opposition group, the Syrian National Council, told AFP shortly before the two-day gathering kicked off.
Human Rights Watch, meanwhile, accused Syrian government forces of having used sexual violence to torture men, women, girls and boys detained since the unrest broke out in March 2011.
The New York-based group said it had interviewed 10 former detainees, including two women, who described being sexually abused or witnessing such abuse in detention.
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