Activists: Civilians 'massacred' in central Syria

Smoke rises as idlib city is shelled by government forces on March 11, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

March 12, 2012, Monday/ 10:15:00

Syrian activist groups say pro-government gunmen have killed more than a dozen people in the embattled central city of Homs.

Syria's state media confirmed deaths in Homs, but blamed "armed terrorists."

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says at least 12 people were killed Sunday night while the Local Coordination Committees said 45 were "murdered." Both groups said the dead included children.

Pictures posted online by activists showed the bodies of five children who were disfigured after being apparently hit with sharp objects. At least six dead adults were covered with sheets.