A Dutch Jesuit priest who made the headlines earlier this year with an urgent appeal for emergency aid for the people of Syria has been shot dead, according to media reports.
Frans van der Lugt, 75, had lived in Syria for 50 years and refused to leave, despite the war.
‘I can confirm he’s been killed,’ Jan Stuyt, secretary of the Dutch Jesuit Order, told news agency AFP by phone. ‘A man came into his house, took him outside and shot him twice in the head. In the street in front of his house.’
Stuyt said he was not aware of any particular threats towards Van der Lugt, AFP reports.
Van der Lugt had a high profile media presence in recent weeks, and had given interviews to various international news agencies about the humanitarian disaster in Syria, including AFP.
In January, he placed an Arabic video containing an urgent appeal for help on YouTube.
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