Middle East

Al-Qaeda group killed MSF doctor in Syria: NGO

This citizen journalism image provided by Aleppo Media Center AMC which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows damaged buildings due to heavy fighting between Free Syrian army fighters and government forces in Aleppo, Syria, Friday, Sept. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Aleppo Media Center, AMC)

BEIRUT: A Syrian doctor working for Doctors Without Borders who was found dead this week was killed by the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), an NGO said Friday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it was told that Mohamed Abyad was killed by the group after his abduction in northern Syria.

"According to doctors... ISIS killed the young doctor Mohamed Abyad after his abduction on Monday at dawn in Sejou village, where he was working," the Observatory said in a statement.

Doctors Without Borders, which is known by its French acronym MSF, announced Abyad's death on Thursday.

It said the 28-year-old was found on Tuesday in Aleppo province, where he was working at an MSF-run hospital treating victims of Syria's civil war.

MSF did not say how he had been killed or who may have been responsible.

"While the exact circumstances of Dr. Abyad's death remain unclear, MSF condemns the attack against a surgeon who was relentlessly working to alleviate a desperate humanitarian situation," MSF said.

"His death is a terrible loss to his family, to the patients that he was treating, and to MSF," said the group's general director, Joan Tubau.

"We are outraged by this attack against a young and highly motivated surgeon who was working to save the lives of Syrians affected by the conflict."

The group operates six hospitals and four health centres in northern Syria and says it carried out 66,000 consultations and 3,400 surgeries in the country between June 2012 and July this year.

The Observatory also said ISIS was responsible for the death of Mohamed al-Hamada, a popular opposition poet who was killed on Thursday.

The group said Hamada was in Kfar Zita, near central Hama, looking for details of his missing son.

He got into an argument with fighters from ISIS and was shot dead.

ISIS, and Al-Nusra Front, another Al-Qaeda-affiliated group in Syria, have been accused of a string of abuses in rebel-held territory.

The Observatory said ISIS was behind the destruction this week of a Shiite mosque in the Hasakeh region in northeastern Syria, and also accused the group of carrying out dozens of kidnappings.





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