DAMASCUS, Syria, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- The Arab League called an emergency meeting and diplomats said they would take up possible economic sanctions against Syria Friday.
Diplomats also said they would consider Arab League-suspension of Syria, on a day when political violence was blamed for at least 26 deaths -- at least 13 of them in Homs -- The New York Times reported.
Residents in Homs said security forces have ordered them to remain indoors for three days as soldiers looted empty homes, the newspaper said.
Human Rights Watch condemned the systemic abuse of civilians in Homs by government forces as at least 26 people died in clashes in Syria Friday. HRW urged the Arab League to suspend Syria's membership during a meeting called for Saturday and called on the U.N. Security Council to impose an embargo and sanctions against individuals responsible for violence in Syria.
A 63-page report, "'We Live as in War': Crackdown on Protesters in the Governorate of Homs," is based on more than 110 interviews with victims and witnesses, and details abuse at the hands of Syrian forces, including the detainment and torture of civilians and unlawful killings of at least 587 residents in Homs and surrounding areas.
"Homs is a microcosm of the Syrian government's brutality," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "The Arab League needs to tell President [Bashar] Assad that violating their agreement has consequences, and that it now supports Security Council action to end the carnage."
Human Rights Watch suggested Syria be referred to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, saying at least 104 people have been killed in Homs since Nov. 2.
The United Nations estimated this week more than 3,500 civilians have been killed since anti-government demonstrations began in March.