Gunmen Assassinate Syria MP in Hama

Unidentified gunmen assassinated Syrian parliament member Waris al-Yunis in the central province of Hama, a parliamentary source told Agence France Presse on Wednesday.

"An armed group opened fire on MP Waris al-Yunis's car as it traveled on the Hama-Salamiyah road at around 9:00 pm (18:00 GMT) on Tuesday evening, killing him instantly," the source told AFP.

Yunis was a representative from the coastal province of Tartus, a stronghold of support for President Bashar Assad, and a bastion of the Alawite minority sect to which the embattled leader belongs.

Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group, said Yunis was a commander in the pro-regime National Defense Force militia.

The militia is fighting alongside government troops against rebels in various parts of Syria, including Hama province.

Yunis is one of a number of members of Syria's parliament killed in the country's bloody conflict, which began in March 2011 with anti-government protests and has spiraled into a civil war.

More than 180,000 people have been killed since the uprising began, according to the Observatory.

Source: Agence France Presse

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