Syria Fighting ‘Kills 100’ Ahead of Ceasefire
At least 100 people have died on one of the bloodiest days in the Syrian uprising, according to unverified reports, days ahead of a ceasefire.
Clandestine monitors inside Syria say more than 30 died in Latamneh, a suburb of the city of Hama, as a result of government shelling.
Video said to be from Homs showed 13 victims of an apparent mass execution.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon has warned the government not to use the impending truce as an “excuse for killing”.
Turkey says refugee arrivals from Syria have doubled since President Bashar al-Assad agreed to implement a peace plan from the UN and Arab League.
The six-point plan, mediated by former UN chief Kofi Annan, envisages a cessation of armed violence by all parties from 10 April, with a full ceasefire on 12 April.
However, the Syrian opposition, the US and many countries in the region have expressed scepticism that Syria is committed to the plan.
In the capital, Damascus, thousands of supporters of Mr Assad attended a rally to mark the 65th anniversary of the ruling Baath Party.
A death toll of 107 was reported by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which said it included 74 civilians.
Another monitoring group, the Local Co-ordination Committees, gave a figure of 133, not including members of the Syrian security forces.
In Latamneh, dead bodies were piled in flatbed vehicles and driven away as distraught townspeople looked on, activists’ videos showed.
Footage posted on the internet showed emotional scenes as the bodies were buried, with a dead toddler being held aloft and the bodies of adults laid out on the ground in shrouds.