Ten Syrian workers returning home from Lebanon have been killed in an ambush near the city of Homs.
Syria’s official state news agency said an armed gang shot the men dead.
The government has constantly blamed such groups for the violence during the seven week uprising against President Bashar al Assad.
Human rights campaigners have cast doubt on the incident.
Government troops and tanks have been reported using the cover of darkness to enter Homs which is Syria’s third largest city.
Witnesses have claimed some areas have been put under siege and unconfirmed reports have said scores of protesters have been killed by security forces.
Protests have continued across the country – in Banias two pro-democracy leaders and at least 250 others were arrested by army units.
In Deir al-Zor thousands of demonstrators are said to have continued their night time rallies in protest at Friday’s shooting of four protesters.