DAMASCUS, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian army's general command said Tuesday that military units have confronted armed groups that attacked several towns in the central province of Hama and committed massacres against civilians.
In a statement carried by the state-TV, the army said the armed groups' attempts were "desperate" and came to cover for their losses, adding that the armed groups have attacked and committed massacres against innocent civilians.
The statement said the army confronted the assailants and prevented them from proceeding with their plans.
The statement comes a day after activist groups said that as many as 43 people were killed on Sunday as a result of the regime' s bombardment on the town of Helfaya in the outskirts of Hama.
The violence in Hama has intensified over the past days between government troops and armed rebels, adding new hotspots to the country's 22-month crisis that killed more than 40,000 people, according to activists.