DAMASCUS (AFP) - Syrian security forces killed 18 civilians on Friday, 15 of them in the flashpoint central city of Homs, where the death of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi galvanised mass protests, rights activists said. "Fifteen people were killed in Homs," which has been at the heart of military operations this week, Rami Abdel Rahman of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told AFP. Mass demonstrations, called in celebration of the dramatic end of Libya's Muammar Gaddafi and in the hope that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will be the next to fall, spread across the central city, the Observatory said. The toll in Homs included two killed by security forces manning a checkpoint at Bab al-Sibaa, the focal point of raids ahead of midday Friday prayers, and 13 others killed in "different neighbourhoods." "Security forces opened heavy machinegun fire against a demonstration in the (Homs) neighbourhoods of Jeb al-Jandaly and Bab Amr," wounding 19 and killing one person there, the Observatory added. The Local Coordination Committees, an activist network spurring protests on the ground, said security forces imposed a curfew and closed all the mosques of Qusayr, a restive town in Homs province near the border with Lebanon. The main weekly Muslim prayers have become a springboard for anti-regime rallies, with thousands pouring out of mosques each week to join in, despite the strong likelihood of brutal action by the security forces. One civilian died when security forces opened fire on a funeral procession in the southern Daraa region, cradle of the protest movement against Assad's regime, Abdel Rahman said. In the central province of Hama, a historic hotbed of dissent, two civilians were killed by sniper fire, the Observatory said. Syrian troops were deployed in the outskirts of Damascus raising new checkpoints and positioning snipers on the rooftops of Saqba, a protest hub near the capital, the LCC said. Assad has been faced with a people's revolt since March 15, which has been harshly repressed, resulting in the deaths of more than 3,000 people, mostly civilians, according to the United Nations. Pro-democracy activists on Friday hailed the "great victory" of the Libyan revolution after Gaddafi was captured and killed in his hometown and final bastion Sirte, and warned Assad's turn would come next. "The great victory of the third Arab revolution sends a clear message to the region's tyrants: military and security options fail when confronted with the will of people calling for liberty, justice and equality," the LCC said. "Your turn has come Doctor (Assad)," protesters wrote on their Facebook page, Syrian Revolution 2011. "Give whatever delay you want, our revolution will vanquish, we will continue to call with all our voice to bring down the regime and to tell the world that the Syrian people will not surrender," it added.