Iraqis mourn Shiite fighter killed in Syria

AP News
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Posted: Jul 09, 2013 7:16 AM

BAGHDAD (AP) — Hundreds of Iraqis have mourned in Baghdad a Shiite fighter killed in Syria.

Sheik Saad al-Showaily, a spokesman for Iraq's Hezbollah Brigades which has been sending fighters to Syria to fight alongside President Bashar Assad's troops, said Monday that the 50-year old Hameed Abdul-Hassan al-Missari was killed three days ago.

Al-Showaily wouldn't discuss the circumstances of al-Missari's death, but said he was killed while "defending" revered Shiite shrine of Sayida Zeinab outside the capital of Damascus. He added that al-Missari had left for Syria two months ago.

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For months Iraqi Shiite fighters have trickled into Syria, where mostly Sunni rebels are fighting a regime dominated by a Shiite offshoot sect. Their relatives say they are drawn by a sense of religious duty to protect the Sayida Zeinab shrine.