A Syrian government air strike has killed tens of people in a town near the central city of Hama, according to opposition activists.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said “tens of people” were killed in a strike by a fighter jet on Halfaya today.
An amateur video released online shows more than a dozen dead or wounded people in the rubble of what an off-camera narrator says was a bakery.
The attack came as the main international envoy was beginning talks in Damascus aimed at ending the civil war.
The video shows rubble and dust covering another pile of bodies along the building’s wall. Residents and armed rebels carry the wounded away while others dig through the rubble looking for survivors.
It was unclear why Syrian forces targeted the town.
Activists and rights groups accuse the Syrian government of President Bashar Assad of taking revenge for victories by rebel forces on civilian populations who support them.
Rebels have been clashing with government forces in recent days in the region around Halfaya, some 25 kms (15 miles) north-west of Hama, most notably in the village of Morek.
Syria’s crisis began in March 2011 with political protests and has since evolved into a civil war, with scores of rebel groups across the country battling Assad’s forces.
International envoy Lakhdar Brahimi was in Damascus today to push for a negotiated solution to the conflict. Previous efforts have proved fruitless.