Aleppo, Syria– The Syrian National Coalition for Revolutionary Forces and the Opposition (SNC) condemned in a statement on Monday the assassination of the Dutch Jesuit priest Francis Van Der Lugt, 75, in the besieged city of Homs.
The Dutch priest, who spent more than 35 years in the Syrian city of Homs, has always promoted coexistence among diverse components of the Syrian society.
“We received the news of the death of Father Francis with a deep grieve. He insisted to stay in Homs despite the horrors caused by the regime’s siege against the city, to share the hardships with the residents of Homs,” the SNC leadership stated.
Priest Francis was reportedly killed in Bustan al-Diwan district in the city of Homs on Sunday, and was buried on Monday afternoon. Van Der Lugt was shot twice in the head by a gunman in front of his house, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The executer is still unknown.
“He constantly tried to convey the sufferings of the defenceless residents of Homs to the world, and he has repeatedly called on the international community to bear its responsibilities towards the humanitarian crisis in Syria,” SNC statement added.
The city of Homs is since months besieged by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, while the same forces have continuously bombarded opposition-held neighbourhoods in the city.
“We strongly condemn the assassination of Father Francis Van Der Lugt, and we reassure the executers to be brought to justice,” the SNC emphasized.
The SNC blamed the Syrian regime for the priest’s death, by referring to previous similar incidents in which figures who showed support to the Syrian’s cause were killed.
Reporting by: Haya al-Abdullah
Source: ARA News
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