BEIRUT (AP) - Opposition activists in Syria are reporting what could be one of the deadliest offensives yet by Syrian forces, but their accounts and death tolls vary.
The reports say government forces shelled a poor farming village in central Syria before pro-regime gunmen moved in.
Some activists say they have the names of about 30 people killed. Others say 200 are dead, but they can't provide names. Amateur videos show the bodies of 17 people.
It's also not clear how many of the dead are civilians. One activist group said dozens of the dead were rebel fighters.
The version offered by the Syrian government is that more than 50 people were killed when Syrian forces clashed with "armed gangs" that were terrorizing village residents.
The head of the U.N. monitoring mission says observers a few miles away saw helicopters and heavy weapons attacking from the air and the ground.
He says his team is ready to investigate if a cease-fire occurs. But the nearly 300 U.N. observers in Syria have largely stopped moving around because of continued violence. Government forces have also prevented them from visiting sites of past massacres.