Syrian intelligence chief killed in Deir al-Zour

A senior Military Intelligence officer
has been killed in eastern Syria, state
media and activists say.
State television reported on Thursday
that Gen Jamaa Jamaa had died while
"carrying out his national duties" and
"pursuing terrorists" in Deir al-Zour.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
said he was shot by a sniper during
clashes between government and rebel
forces in the city's Rashdiya district.
Gen Jamaa was close to President Bashar
al-Assad, the UK-based group added.
He was commander of Syrian Military
Intelligence's headquarters in Lebanon's
capital, Beirut, when former Lebanese
Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was
assassinated there in 2005.
Gen Jamaa was questioned as part of a
UN inquiry into the killing after the
Syrian withdrawal. Damascus has always
denied any involvement, although five
members of the allied Lebanese Shia
Islamist group Hezbollah have been
indicted.
In 2006, the US Treasury named Gen
Jamaa as a Specially Designated
National , saying he had "significantly
contributed to the Syrian government's
military and security presence in
Lebanon".
Activists say there have been fierce clashes
in Deir al-Zour city in recent days
Al-Arabiya TV reported that at the time
of his death Gen Jamaa was head of
Military Intelligence in Deir al-Zour
province, and was one of the most
powerful security officials in the
country.
The Aisha bin al-Sadiq Brigade said one
of its fighters had shot him.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory said he
was killed during clashes between troops
and members of the al-Nusra Front, an
al-Qaeda-affiliated group, and Liwa al-
Fatihun min Ard al-Sham.
There were air strikes and fierce clashes
overnight in several districts of Deir al-
Zour after state television reported Gen
Jamaa's death, during which jihadists
executed 10 soldiers, the group added.