Syrian helicopters launched an attack on Monday in the central Hama province where troops were clashing with rebels, hours before a UN deadline for government forces to pull back, monitors said.
The helicopters hit the village of Kfar Zeita as "regular forces clashed on the ground with fighters from the dissident armed groups," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The Britain-based group said regime forces were besieging the village's hospital to where people wounded in the shelling of neighbouring Latamna village had been evacuated as regime bombardment killed at least 35 people.
Activist Abu Ghazi al-Hamwi told AFP that helicopters "began bombing Kfar Zeita at around 7:00 pm (1600 GMT), accompanied by heavy gunfire and shelling by tanks."
Under a peace deal brokered by UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, Syria's armed forces are supposed to withdraw from protest centres on Tuesday, with a complete end to fighting set for 48 hours later.© ANP/AFP