BEIRUT: Syrian activists published a video on Friday showing the bloodstained bodies of 15 young men who they said were among over 200 killed in an alleged massacre in central Hama province.
It showed corpses with faces or shirts drenched in blood, laid out in a row on blankets on a concrete floor.
"The martyrs of Tremseh, July 12, 2012. God is greatest," repeated a voice in the video, panning his camera over the bodies. Some had been shot in the abdomen.
If confirmed, the killings in Tremseh would be the worst atrocity of at least four massacres reported in Syria, where a 16-month-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad has evolved into a war between rebel groups and state forces.
The video had no evidence to show that it had been recorded in Tremseh. Syria severely restricts access by foreign media and a United Nations monitoring mission is currently suspended, making verification of claims by either side almost impossible.
All the men in the video appeared to be of fighting age. Most wore jeans and t-shirts. One man was wearing a camouflage jacket.
Activists said on Thursday that the army had attacked Tremseh to root out rebels, surrounding the village and trapping civilians. They cited witness accounts of civilians being shot and stabbed, and bodies being burned and dumped in the streets.
No documentation has yet emerged to prove activist allegations that that women and children had been killed.
Some activists said their accounts were based on satellite phone calls to residents in Tremseh, but that they had lost contact early in the morning.
Security forces were reported to have cut Internet and phone connections before they shelled and stormed the town on Thursday. Opposition groups said this was making it difficult for them to obtain and upload videos of the scene. AGENCIES