(AP) Gunmen kill brother of Syrian parliament speaker
By BASSEM MROUE
Gunmen shot and killed the brother of Syria’s parliament speaker as he drove to work in the capital Damascus on Tuesday, the state-run news agency reported on Tuesday.
It was the latest in a wave of assassinations targeting Syrian officials, army officers and other prominent supporters of President Bashar Assad’s regime. Four of the president’s top security aides were killed in a rebel bombing of state security headquarters in Damascus on July 18, including the defense minister and Assad’s brother-in-law.
The SANA news agency said Mohammed Osama Laham, brother of Parliament Speaker Jihad Laham, was killed in the Damascus neighborhood of Midan.
The killing came a day after some of the most intense fighting in Damascus in months. On Tuesday, activists and state media reported clashes, shelling and air raids in different parts of Syria.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said air raids on Houla, a group of villages in central province of Homs, killed seven people. The group also reported air raids on the Damascus suburbs of Douma and Maadamiyeh saying there are casualties without giving numbers.
SANA said six regime supporters were killed when 11 mortars rounds fell near a pro-government demonstration Monday night in the northern city of Aleppo.
The Observatory said Syrian troops shelled two villages on the edge of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights adding that government forces have been trying to take over the area for days.
On Monday, the Israeli military said a bullet from Syria struck one of its vehicles traveling on the Israeli side of the cease-fire line in the Golan Heights. No one was wounded in the incident. The Israel-Syria border has been quiet since a 1974 armistice agreement. Such incidents have been rare.
Israel is concerned that violence from Syria’s civil war could spill into the country. Earlier this week, three Syrian tanks entered a demilitarized zone between the countries. Several Syrian shells, apparently misfired, have exploded inside Israel.