Two suicide attacks in the Syrian province of Hama killed at least 18 people, including 11 children, state media has reported.
It said the “terrorist explosions” took place in Jibrin – north-east of Hama city – and al-Humeiri.
The villages are under the control of the government.
The attack comes days after scores of people were killed and injured in explosions in government-controlled parts of the central city of Homs.
There has so far been no claim of responsibility for the bombings, correspondents say, but al-Qaeda affiliated rebels of Al-Nusra Front have carried out several car bombings in recent weeks.
Human rights groups say that both the government of President Bashar al-Assad and rebels fighting to depose him are killing civilians.
Human rights groups say that both the government of President Bashar al-Assad and rebels fighting to depose him are killing civilians (photo Reuters)
Hama saw some of the largest demonstrations against Bashar al-Assad in the first months of the Syrian uprising after March 2011.
In late summer 2011, security forces stormed the city and have maintained control ever since.
Hama’s main city occupies a significant place in the history of modern Syria.
In 1982, then-President Hafez al-Assad, father of Bashar, sent in troops to quell an uprising by the Sunni opposition Muslim Brotherhood. Tens of thousands were killed and the city flattened.
The violence in Hama province comes as the government subjects rebel-held areas in the northern city of Aleppo to fierce aerial bombardment as its forces try to end a long-standing stalemate in the city.
On Thursday at least 33 people were killed in an air strike on a market in the northern Halak district of the city.
The strike outraged The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) which described it as the “latest wave of indiscriminate attacks perpetrated against schools and other civilian targets” across Syria.