The United Nations says more than 92 people were killed in what activists said was an artillery barrage by government forces in the worst violence since the start of a UN peace plan to slow the flow of blood in Syria's uprising.
The bloodied bodies of children, some with their skulls split open, were shown in footage posted to YouTube purporting to show the victims of the shelling in the central town of Houla on Friday. The sound of wailing filled the room.
The carnage underlined just how far Syria is from any negotiated path out of the 14-month-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.
"This morning UN military and civilian observers went to Houla and counted more than 32 children under the age of 10 and over 60 adults killed," the head of UN team monitoring the ceasefire - which has yet to take hold - said.