More than 80 people were reported killed across Syria on Saturday, 52 of them civilians, as regime forces pressed a protest crackdown three days ahead of a deadline to cease fire and pull back.

Monitors reported the latest deaths despite U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon's latest rebuke to Damascus for stepping up its assault on dissent hubs in the country ahead of Tuesday's deadline.

Forty civilians died “in bombardment and shooting on the town of Latamna,” said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Britain-based monitoring group said other civilians were killed in Tibet al-Imam, also in Hama, as well as in the neighbouring province of Homs.

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