1 of 3
Muzaffar Salman, Associated Press
A Syrian man gestures under a large poster depicting Syria's President Bashar Assad during a rally in Damascus, Syria, Monday, Dec. 19, 2011. Syria signed an Arab League initiative Monday that will allow Arab observers into the country as part of peace deal that aims to end the nation's increasingly bloody 9-month-old crisis, Syria's foreign minister said.

BEIRUT — Activists say Syrian troops have killed at least 100 people in a northwest town in one of the deadliest incidents since the uprising against President Bashar Assad's regime began in March.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the killings occurred in the town of Kfar Owaid in the northwestern province of Idlib on Tuesday. It says 111 people died. The Local Coordination Committees, another activist group, says more than 100 people were killed in the town.

The two groups had earlier reported that regime troops attacked the town with heavy machine gun fire and shelling, killing dozens.

The U.N. says more than 5,000 people have been killed in the crackdown.

Wednesday's reports come ahead of the arrival of an Arab League advance team to prepare for an observer mission.