The death toll of the latest shelling by Syrian regime forces on the town of Houla in central Homs province has risen to at least 110 people, including 35 children, an opposition group said on Saturday.
The bombardment began on Friday afternoon on the outskirts of Hula and they continued until dawn, said the head of SOHR, Rami Abdel Rahman .
On Saturday, many residents of two villages there fled toward the center of Hula fearing new bombing, while amateur videos posted on YouTube showed horrifying images of children lying dead on a floor. Some of their corpses badly mangled, including at least one child whose head had been partly blown away..
The SOHR has denounced the inaction of the international community and the Arab League, calling them "the Syrian regime's accomplices in the massacre of Houla."
On Friday night, Rami Abdel Rahman questioned the role of U.N. observers deployed in April to monitor a cease-fire largely ignored. "We talk of bombing since noon and no observer based in Homs has moved," he said.
Earlier on Saturday, SNC spokeswoman Basma Kodmani said "more than 110 people were killed (half of whom are children) by the Syrian regime's forces" in Houla. "Some of the victims were hit by heavy artillery while others, entire families, were massacred."
Meanwhile, AFP reported that for the first time in the region, helicopter gunships fired on mountain villages in the Latakia area of northwestern Syria, near the Turkish border, wounding at least 20 people.
In related news, a U.N. report said Syrian government forces and opposition fighters were committing gross human rights violations despite a six-week-old ceasefire in the conflict.
Syrian army and security services committed most of the crimes documented since March, including heavy shelling of residential areas and executions, it said.
Armed rebels executed or tortured captured soldiers and pro-government supporters, and abducted civilians in an apparent bid to secure prison exchanges or ransoms, it said.
"Most of the serious human rights violations documented by the commission in this update were committed by the Syrian army and security services as part of military or search operations conducted in locations known for hosting defectors and/or armed persons, or perceived as supportive of anti-government armed groups," the report said.
Children were frequently among those killed and wounded during attacks on protests and the bombardment of towns and villages by state forces, it said.
According to opposition activists, more than 12,600 people have been killed in Syria since mid-March 2011, including nearly 1,500 since the U.N.-backed truce on April 12.