Shelling and airstrikes across the country came as people tried to celebrate the holiday ending Ramadan.
TEL RIFAT, SYRIA - Government forces pummeled the battered city of Aleppo with airstrikes and tank fire and shelled parts of Damascus and southern Syria Monday, killing at least 100 people during a major Muslim holiday, rights groups and activists said.
The violence escalated dramatically after a one-day lull on Sunday, the start of the three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
The renewed fighting showed President Bashar Assad's regime is not letting up on its drive to quell the 17-month-old uprising out of respect for the occasion.
Since the holiday began, an air of gloom has blanketed the nation, and activists said there have been no signs of jubilation.
Adding to the despair, two main activist groups -- The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees -- said that 12 bodies shot execution- style were found in the Qaboun district in Damascus. Activist Omar al-Khani said the bodies, which included two children, were found on the side of a road with clear signs of torture. Some were naked, others handcuffed.
More than 30 of the deaths Monday were attributed to tank and mortar fire as well as clashes in the Damascus suburbs of Daraya and Moadamiyeh, where some activists reported the government used helicopter gunships.
An activist, El-Said Mohammed, said about 30 troops along with a tank defected to the rebels' side in Moadamiyeh on Sunday, which may have been the reason for Monday's shelling.
Mohammed spoke by Skype from the Damascus area. His information could not be verified.
Both the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of activists on the ground, and the Local Coordination Committees reported at least 100 civilian deaths across the country, a heavy toll for a single day. Anti-regime activists say about 20,000 people have been killed since the revolt against Assad's rule began in March 2011.
The rights groups and activists said the latest assaults by tanks and warplanes caused two houses to collapse in Aleppo, Syria's largest city, killing at least 14 people.
In the southern city of Daraa, birthplace of the uprising, intense fighting between government troops and rebels killed 16 people, including two children and two women, the activist groups said.
Fighter jets on Monday bombed the town of Tel Rifat, 20 miles north of Aleppo. The town serves as the headquarters of one of the largest rebel groupings.
The bombing punched a crater 6 feet deep in the courtyard of a high school and vocational school for girls and leveled five nearby homes. No one was killed or injured.