In this citizen journalism image provided by Edlib News Network ENN, anti-Syrian regime citizens look at a Syrian military tank with Arabic that reads, "Assads' dogs," that was damaged during clashes between rebels and Syrian government forces, at the northern town of Ariha, in Idlib province, Syria, Monday, June 4, 2012. European leaders are expected to press the contentious issue of Syria at a European Union-Russian summit Monday in St. Petersburg, but few believe Russian President Vladimir Putin will agree to ramp up pressure on the Syrian government. (AP Photo/Edlib News Network ENN) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS HANDOUT PHOTO
BEIRUT - Syrian activists have reported a surge of bloodshed in the central Hama province with at least 23 people killed — and possibly many more.
The exact circumstances of the violence were impossible to independently confirm late Wednesday.
Rami Abdul-Rahman, the head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, says he has gathered the names of 23 people killed in shelling and other attacks. But the Local Coordination Committees, an activist group, says at least 78 were dead.
The violence in Syria has grown increasingly chaotic in recent months, and it is difficult to assign blame for much of the bloodshed as the country spirals toward civil war.