File - Dutch Jesuit Father Frans van der Lugt chats with civilians, urging them to be patient, in the besieged area of Homs, in this January 29, 2014.(REUTERS/Yazan Homsy)
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Condolences flooded in from around the world for Dutch priest Frans van der Lugt, who was shot dead by masked gunmen in the Syrian city of Homs Monday.The death of Van der Lugt, who gained renown for his insistence on staying in the besieged city, was reported by the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Syria's state news agency SANA, and confirmed by the Dutch Jesuit Order. Van der Lugt had lived in Syria for 50 years and refused to leave Homs even as hundreds of civilians were evacuated from rebel-held districts that have been besieged for more than a year by President Bashar Assad's forces.An activist based in the blockaded rebel-held area said rebel fighters were shocked by the priest's death.
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