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Thursday 14 November 2019

Pro-Assad Syrian assassinated by militants

Oliver Holmes

Militants assassinated a well-known supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Lebanon early today, the latest sign of Syria's civil war spreading to its smaller neighbour.

Mohammad Darra Jamo, a commentator who worked for Syrian state media and often appeared on Arab TV channels, was attacked by gunmen hiding in his house in the southern town of Sarafand, the sources said.

His wife was with him but not harmed, they added.

Syrian state news agency SANA blamed an "armed terrorist group" for the killing which took place at around 2 a.m. (2300 GMT Tuesday). Lebanese security source said supporters of the Syrian rebel opposition were top suspects.

Lebanon, whose own 15-year civil war ended in 1990, is struggling to stay on the sidelines of Syria's conflict. Car bombs and clashes between groups supporting opposite sides of Syria's war have become increasingly common.

On Tuesday, a convoy carrying members of the Lebanese Shi'ite militant group Hezbollah was hit by a roadside bomb and ambushed near the Syrian border, killing one official and wounded two.

Syrian Sunni rebels have threatened to strike Hezbollah, one of Lebanon's most powerful political and military forces, in Lebanon following its military support of Assad in Syria.

Last week a car bomb injured more than 50 people in a southern Beirut suburb controlled by Hezbollah. In late May, rockets were fired at a Hezbollah area of southern Beirut.

Syria's civil war started with pro-democracy protests that were suppressed by government forces. An ensuing civil war has killed 90,000 and drawn in regional powers hoping the sway the outcome of the conflict.


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