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Continued: UN delegation tasked with investigating chemical weapons use in Syria in Damascus

  • Article by: ALBERT AJI , Associated Press
  • Last update: July 24, 2013 - 1:05 PM

The state news agency said 34-year-old Firas al-Eid, who coached the women's national youth team, was killed when gunmen fired at his car as he was driving from Homs to Damascus late Tuesday.

A Syrian General Sports Federation official, Tareq Hatem, told SANA on Wednesday that "terrorists" were behind the attack, a term the government uses for rebels.

The countryside between Damascus and Homs, Syria's third largest city, has recently been the scene of heavy fighting between government troops and rebels.

Activists said masked gunmen stormed a media center in the northern rebel-held town of Saraqeb Wednesday, kidnapping a Polish journalist and beating a well-known Syrian activist, Manhal Barish.

An activist near the town identified the journalist as Marcin Suder. He spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing retaliation.

Suder's Polish agency, Studio Melon, said it had seen the reports but could not confirm he had been kidnapped.

Studio Melon's Andrzej Wyszynski said Suder has been in frequent contact with the agency since traveling to Syria in early July and last corresponded via email on Tuesday. Wyszynski said Suder has worked in Afghanistan and other conflict zones, and was reporting from Syria as a freelancer.

Marcin Bosacki, a spokesman for Poland's Foreign Ministry, said, "We don't have confirmation. We are urgently analyzing the matter."

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