DAMASCUS (AFP) - Syrian forces killed 17 people on Friday, activists said as protesters piled pressure on the regime to quit while the EU tightened the noose on Damascus by slapping it with an oil embargo. Activists reported "huge demonstrations" after weekly Muslim prayers in response to calls from an Internet group that urged rallies against President Bashar al-Assad's regime under the banner "death rather than humiliation". France also announced plans to further isolate Assad, saying it would boost contacts with the opposition, echoing calls from Spain for international support for the opponents of the embattled president. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said eight people were killed when security forces intervened to disperse protests in several suburbs of Damascus including Douma and Erbeen. Three other people died in rebellious Homs province and three in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor, said the Britain-based Observatory which earlier reported that a 16-year-old girl was killed in Erbeen and a civilian in Talbisseh, in the province of Homs Several people were also reportedly wounded, some in critical condition, when security forces opened fire on the protesters, activists said. Syrian state television reported, meanwhile, that security forces killed two armed men after coming under attack in Talbisseh. The official SANA news agency said three members of the security forces were killed "by armed terrorist groups who attacked them in Talbisseh, Erbeen and Hammuriyeh (also a Damascus suburb)." The agency also reported four assailants were killed in the confrontations. One of Friday's rallies was held in support of a top official who resigned this week to protest the regime's deadly repression of dissent, while at another protesters urged Russia to stop selling arms to Syria, activists said. The Local Coordination Committees (LCC) said demonstrators rallied outside the home of Mohammed Adnan al-Bakkour, the attorney general of the province of Hama who announced his resignation in a contested YouTube video. Bakkour said he stepped down in disgust at hundreds of killings and mass burials and thousands of arrests by Assad's regime - claims dismissed by the regime which said he quit under duress after being kidnapped. Protesters also rallied in the central square of the northern city of Amuda demanding the "fall of the regime" while some carried signs "urging Russia to stop arms sales to the regime," the LCC said. Demonstrators also rallied in the southern province of Daraa, where the anti-regime protests first erupted in mid-March, and in the northern province of Aleppo, activists said. Women took to the streets in the Daraa town of Jassem, the LCC said, while the Observatory said security forces blocked worshippers from leaving a mosque to take part in protests in nearby Nawa. And as ministers from the 27-member European Union gathered in Poland to discuss the Syrian turmoil, the EU on Friday adopted a ban on crude oil imports from Syria to punish Assad's regime for its brutal repression. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Paris would step up contacts with Syrian opposition figures, and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero urged international support for Syrians opposed to Assad. Syrian dissidents met in Istanbul last month and set up "national council" to coordinate a campaign to topple Assad.