TRIPOLI, Lebanon: The president of a charity organization in Tripoli died while fighting in battles in Syria's Qalamoun region, according to residents of the northern city.
The head of the Al-Bashair organization, a social charity association, was killed in the ongoing fighting between Hezbollah-backed regime troops and rebel groups in Qalamoun, a mountainous region bordering Lebanon.
Abu Ahmad al-Rifai, nicknamed Abu Yasser, was buried Tuesday evening in his hometown of Tripoli, where many residents support the Syrian opposition and condemn Hezbollah's role fighting alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.
The organization focuses primarily on helping young boys and girls "to keep them away from bad company and unethical behavior such as drugs and alcohol and aims to avoid extremism," according to the organization’s website.
It hosts sports, entertainment and educational events for the family.
"It also works with other organizations and association to compensate the youth from deprivation and prejudice they face in the Tripoli society and the northern communities in terms of education and charitable work.”
A number of Tripoli residents are reportedly fighting alongside rebel groups in Syria.
Tripoli, Lebanon's second largest city, has been divided over the Syrian crisis, with Sunni supporters of the revolutions and Alawite backers of Assad clashing numerous times over the past several years.