About 220 Syrians, mostly civilians, were killed in a village in the rebellious Hama region when it was bombarded by helicopter gunships and tanks then stormed by militiamen who slaughtered some families, opposition sources said on Friday.UN special envoy Kofi Annan said he was "shocked and appalled" by news of "intense fighting, significant casualties, and the confirmed use of heavy weaponry such as artillery, tanks and helicopters" in the village of Tremseh.If scores of civilians were killed, this could be the worst atrocity in 16 months of fighting between rebels and the forces of President Bashar al-Assad.
World powers are deadlocked
over how to halt the bloodshed, with Russia and China opposed to Western and
Arab calls for Assad to step down immediately.
Syrian state television said there had been fighting in Tremseh and accused "armed terrorist groups" of committing a massacre there, but gave no death toll. It said three soldiers had been killed. Armed Assad loyalists known as Shabbiha have been accused repeatedly of cold-blooded indiscriminate killings carried out on the coattails of army offensives into rebel-held districts.