Syrian activists have reported a surge of bloodshed in the central Hama province, with at least 23 people killed - and possibly many more.
The exact circumstances of the violence were impossible to confirm independently.
Rami Abdul-Rahman, the head of the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, says he has gathered the names of 23 people killed in shelling and other attacks.
But the Local Co-ordination Committees, an activist group, said at least 78 were dead.
The violence in Syria has grown increasingly chaotic in recent months, and it is difficult to assign blame for much of the bloodshed as the country spirals toward civil war.