DAMASCUS (AFP) - Syrian forces killed 26 people in two days as they quelled anti-regime protests, activists said Saturday as the Red Cross chief arrived for a visit and a punitive EU oil embargo came into effect. The bloodshed came despite the European Union slapping Syria with the embargo and as EU ministers warned on Saturday of possible further sanctions over the regime's failure to heed global calls to halt the repression. Syria's longtime ally Russia criticised the latest sanctions while the United States, which has been urging moves to isolate President Bashar al-Assad's regime, welcomed them. Meanwhile Red Cross chief Jakob Kellenberger arrived Saturday afternoon in Damascus for talks with Assad over access to prisoners and areas affected by the crackdown, the International Committee of the Red Cross said. Four people were killed Saturday in raids by security forces in the rebellious northwest province of Idlib and the central city of Homs, a day after anti-regime protests which activists said cost 21 lives. The Local Coordination Committees (LCC) said three people were killed and five wounded Saturday in Maarrat "during an incursion by tanks and 50 buses carrying members of the security forces" in Idlib province. A fourth man was killed Saturday in the Deir Baalba neighbourhood in the protest hub of Homs during a raid by security forces, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights reported. And a political activist who was shot and wounded late Friday also died on Saturday from his injuries, the LCC said. The Observatory said the security operation in Idlib was "to hunt down wanted people," and to track down Hama's attorney general, Adnan al-Bakkur, who announced his resignation in an Internet video broadcast Wednesday to denounce the repression. Syrian authorities claim he was kidnapped by an "armed gang" who forced him under pressure to issue "pure lies." Meanwhile the body of a man "which had visible signs of torture," was left by the authorities outside his family home in Homs more than a month after he was detained, the Observatory said. It quoted a local dissident as saying the family refused to take delivery of the body on Friday because "the authorities asked them to sign a report accusing terrorist gangs of killing. More than 2,200 people have been killed in Syria since almost daily protests began on March 15, according to the United Nations, while rights groups say that more than 10,000 people are behind bars. In addition to the oil embargo that went into effect Saturday, the EU has also expanded a list of around 50 people - including Assad himself - targeted by an assets freeze and travel ban, adding four Syrian businessmen accused of bankrolling the regime. Three firms were also added. The oil embargo will deprive Assad's regime of a vital source of cash as the EU buys 95 percent of Syria's crude exports. But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov criticised the embargo, saying "unilateral sanctions will do no good," Russia's Interfax news agency reported.