Syrian activists report wave of violence in Hama

By the Associated Press | June 6, 2012 | 8:30 PM EDT

This citizen journalism image provided by Edlib News Network ENN, purports to show Syrian rebels gathered on their vehicle in the northern town of Kfar Nebel, in Idlib province, Syria, Tuesday, June 5, 2012. Rebel forces killed scores of Syrian soldiers in the past few days and activists claimed Tuesday the toll was more than 100 in what appeared to be some of the heaviest losses for government troops since the uprising began 15 months ago. (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 (AP) — 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.