The Syrian government denied Sunday its troops were behind an attack on a string of villages that left more than 92 people dead,blaming the killings on hundreds of heavily-armed gunmen who also attacked soldiers in the area.
Saturdays assault on Houla,an area northwest of the central city of Homs,was one of the bloodiest single events in Syrias 15-month-old uprising. The UN says 32 children under 10 were among the dead. The international body and others have issued statements appearing to hold the Syrian regime responsible.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said in Damascus at a news conference that Syria is being subjected to a tsunami of lies on Houla. We categorically deny the responsibility of government forces for the massacre, Makdissi said.
Also Sunday,government troops shelled residential areas in central Syria. The shelling hit neighbourhoods in the central city of Hama and the rebel-held town of Rastan north of Homs,the Local Coordination Committees and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.