At least 60 people died Sunday when the a Syrian military jet rocketed a bakery in the town of Halfaya, in central Hama province, which was taken over five days ago by forces opposing the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, the rebels said.

The opposition Syrian Human Rights Observatory reported in a communique that 60 people were known to have been killed in the attack, although others initially reported 90 dead, but it did not rule out that the casualty count could rise since there are about 50 people who were seriously wounded.

Meanwhile, the spokesman for the Union of Revolutionaries of Hama, Abu Qadem al-Hamawi, told Efe via the Internet that the fatalities could ultimately rise to more than 100, among them children and the elderly.

The "massacre" was staged by forces loyal to Assad when some 1,000 civilians came to the bakery for food after a week-long bread shortage, the activist said.

The rebels added that the humanitarian situation in Halfaya is dire due to the lack of medicines and adequate sanitation services.

A videotape released by the opposition showed significant material damage to the bakery, numerous dead and wounded strewn around the site and people desperately trying to recover the wounded and the bodies of the dead from the rubble.

The rocket attack carried out by an army fighter jet comes after on Dec. 18 the rebels launched a military operation to "liberate" Hama and six smaller towns from loyalist forces, according to sources within the Free Syrian Army.

Meanwhile, at least 13 people died on Sunday when Syrian aircraft bombed the city of Al Safira, in northern Aleppo province, the Observatory and the rebel Committees reported. EFE