At least 18 people died Sunday in the bombardment of the main marketplace in the northern town of Ariha by military forces loyal to Syria's Bashar al Assad regime, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The director of the organization, Rami Abderrahman, told Efe by telephone that a child and 10 women were among the dead.

Opposition groups confirmed the bombardment, but they reported differing death tolls, one saying that 16 - and another 19 - had perished.

Activists posted on the Internet a video showing the bodies of some of the victims scattered around the marketplace and several people trying to remove the dead and injured from the scene.

The reports have not yet been able to be independently verified due to restrictions imposed by Syrian authorities on journalists in the violence-plagued country, which is mired in civil war.

At least 93,000 Syrians have died since the start of the internal conflict in March 2011, according to the United Nations, although the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has raised that figure to more than 100,000. EFE