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In Homs, a father and his four sons were among those pulled from their homes overnight, an activist in the city said. He asked that his name not be published for fear of reprisals.
He added that soldiers and armored personnel carriers were patrolling the city, along with plainclothes security agents carrying automatic rifles.
Also Wednesday, authorities released prominent political activist Ali Abdullah of the Damascus Declaration opposition group, three days after he was taken from his home near Damascus, the Local Coordination Committees said.
Mr. Abdullah, who has spent years in jail in the past, was released because of bad health, the group said. The 61-year-old Mr. Abdullah underwent heart surgery earlier this month.
Associated Press writer Bradley Klapper in Washington contributed to this report.
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