At least 47 bodies of women and children were discovered from Homs, Syria, where violent conflicts between the Syrian army and the armed rebels have killed hundreds of civilians in the past months.
According to Hadi Abdallah, a Syrian activist of the opposition Syrian Revolution General Council, bodies of 21 women and 26 children were found in the Karm el-Zaytoun and Al-Adawiyeh neighborhoods of Homs.
The activist alleged that the massacre was carried out by Syrian forces and thugs with the support of President Bashar al-Assad's regime. The bodies were burnt with throats slit and stab wounds, said Abdallah, according to a CNN report.
However, the Syrian State Television had a different version of the story. It blamed armed terrorist groups for the mass killings. It said that armed terrorist groups - a term that the Syrian government uses to refer to the rebels - kidnapped and slaughtered the people from the village and depicted it as the handiwork of the regime to tarnish the image of Syrian forces.
The bodies were recovered hours after Kofi Annan, former U.N. secretary-general and special envoy to Syria now, left the country after talks with al-Assad on ending the violence. Annan held talks on Saturday and Sunday with a hope to end the bloodshed in the country, but al-Assad had ruled out any possibility of negotiating with the defectors.
The U.N., Red Cross and other human rights groups are trying to reach humanitarian aid to the battered villages, but Syrian forces have been blocking access to the agencies.
The human rights activists in Syria have alleged that the government forces are heavily shelling the civilian areas and destroying bridges, trapping the people in villages without aid. The opposition groups have called for urgent international intervention on the issue in the wake of the massacre.