In one of the bloodiest days of the uprising so far, activists stated pro-government militia men and security forces have killed at least 78 people. 40 of the victims were women and children who had been stabbed and shot at close range from the village of Qubair in the Hama region. 12 of the bodies were partially hidden and burned. However the Syrian government have denied responsibility, stating that 'terrorists' had carried out the killings.

This amateur footage posted on the internet cannot be verified and contains some graphic images.

Babies and children lie side by side, some uncovered, others under blankets. Two men in close up show one with a blackened damaged face and another whose face has blown away after gun fire. All of the injuries are consistent with close combat injuries.

These latest killings come less than two weeks after a massacre in the Syrian town of Houla where Syrian government troops massacred 108 people, nearly half of them children. Both massacres have happened in the presence of United Nations observers, a 300-strong force sent into Syria to observe a ceasefire deal brokered by international envoy Kofi Annan.

Written and Presented by Ann Salter