Syrian government forces have pounded areas in the central province of Homs in a renewed push to regain control of rebel-held territories, and activists said at least 38 people were killed in shelling there over the past 24 hours.
The assault focused on the town of Qusair, near the border with Lebanon - where activists reported at least six people died today alone.
Three others died in shelling of the town of Talbiseh, north of Homs city, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
"The mortars came down on Qusair by the dozens," said Abu al-Hoda, a Qusair-based activist. He said women and children have been huddled for days in basements of apartment buildings, too fearful to come out.
On Saturday, 29 people died in violence across Homs, according to activists.
Alsoon Sunday, Syrian forces unleashed a new round of heavy shelling and sent reinforcements to a mountainous area near the coastal city of Latakia where hundreds of rebels have set up base and which has also been the scene of fierce fighting in recent days.
The fighting between Syrian government troops backed by helicopter gunships and armed groups in the area of Haffa began on Tuesday.
Rami Abdul-Rahman, the director of the Observatory said at least 58 soldiers have been killed and more than 200 wounded in the operation there since.
He said the heavy losses indicate the seriousness of the challenge in the mountainous area where "hundreds" of rebels are entrenched. His estimated death toll could not be independently verified.
State-run news agency SANA said "terrorist groups" in Haffa attacked public and private institutions and committed "heinous" crimes against civilians, setting fire to the national hospital and forcing people to leave their homes.