Senior Military Officer Killed by Gunmen in Syria
    2012-02-11 20:06:44     Xinhua       Web Editor: Fuyu

The head of a military hospital in Damascus was assassinated Saturday by gunmen in one of Damascus ' main neighborhood, the state-run SANA news agency reported.

Three gunmen opened fire at Brigadier Issa al-Khouli, an orthopedic physician and head of the Hamish military Hospital, in front of his house at the Ruken al-Deen neighborhood, killing him instantly.

Brigadier al-Khouli is the first senior officer to have been killed inside the capital Damascus since the eruption of the anti- regime protests in March of 2011.

Clashes have intensified lately between armed militia and the government forces.

A day earlier, Syria's Ministry of Interior pledged to "stamp out terrorism" and to "hunt down those who compromise the security of the homeland and citizens."

In a statement carried by SANA, the ministry pledged to continue its duty in persevering the country's security and order.

The Syrian government said more than 2,000 army and security personnel have been killed during the months-long unrest, while the United Nations put the death toll in the country at more than 5,400.

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