200 people slaughtered in Syria

WORLD leaders have condemned the latest Syrian massacre as a "blatant violation" of United Nations special envoy Kofi Annan's peace plan, following the slaughter of more than 200 people.

Mr Annan has slammed the Syrian "atrocities" and told the UN Security Council that it must warn president Basah al-Assad of the consequences of ignoring its resolutions.

Human rights groups and witnesses at Taramseh - in central Hama province - say Syrian army troops and tanks entered the town at dawn on Thursday and began shelling the village, only stopping at night fall.

If the number of the dead is accurate, the massacre would be the deadliest incident since the start of the uprising 16 months ago.

"The use of artillery, tanks and helicopters, which has been confirmed by UNSMIS, is a violation of the Syrian government's obligations and commitment to cease the use of heavy weapons in population centres," Mr Annan said in a letter to the 15-nation council.

Read more at ABC news online.