Syrian tanks have stormed the city of Hama killing at least 45 civilians, a leading rights group says.Al Arabiya has the death toll at 62. (UPDATE: Its headline now says over a hundred killed.)
Earlier, a doctor confirmed that 24 people had been killed and residents reported "intense gunfire" as Syrian forces moved in from several sides.
The doctor also said there are scores of wounded people and a shortage of blood for transfusions.
Speaking in London, Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the latest toll, based on his contacts with Syrian activists, was 45 dead and several more wounded.
Ramadan starts tonight and this offensive is apparently Syria's attempt to stem even bigger protests during that month. Hundreds of thousands had rallied against the Assad regime in Hama last Friday.
UPDATE: Reports say that Syrian forces are shooting and killing anyone who ventures outside.
(h/t Dan for first update)