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Unrest In Syria Claims The Life Of A Christian Priest

01/26/2012 Syria (DP-News) - International and local press also reported Wednesday too that Christian priest from the Greek Orthodox Church, the Rev. Basilious Nasser, was shot and killed on the second day of heavy fighting in the city of Hama.

The Syrian state news agency blamed an “armed terrorist group” for the killing, while opposition activists in Hama said the priest was shot by a government sniper.

The Local Coordination Committees of Syria (LCC), an umbrella opposition group, identified the priest as Basilious Nassar of the nearby town of Kafr Buhum. He died as militia members pushed into various neighborhoods in Hama, a bastion of Syria's anti-regime sentiment, according to the LCC.

The LCC said 24 people were killed nationwide on Wednesday, including six from the Free Syrian Army, a group of defectors from the country's armed forces who have taken up arms against the al-Assad regime. At least four died in Hama, another four in Homs and five in the Damascus suburbs, the group said.

In Hama, four people died on the second day of a government bombardment, LCC said.

One of them was a Christian priest, Father Bassilius Nassar, who was helping a wounded man.

In Homs, a woman and her five-year-old child reportedly died when a shell hit their home during clashes between troops and men believed to be defecting soldiers.

But LCC said the priest was "martyred" during "a military campaign conducted by the regime's forces".

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