Syrian commentator's murder not political, Lebanese army says

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The murder of a staunch supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Lebanon was not politically motivated, Lebanon's military said Friday, while a judicial source told AFP "family reasons" were behind the killing.

Mohammad Darrar Jamo, a Syrian who has lived in Lebanon for 25 years, was murdered by armed men early on Wednesday in front of his house in Sarafand in the south of the country.

Syrian state news agency SANA said Jamo was shot dead "by terrorists," using the Damascus regime's terms for rebels who have been fighting Assad's forces for more than two years.

Jamo was a pro-regime Syrian political commentator who often appeared on Lebanese television to defend Assad.

But Lebanon's army in a statement late Thursday ruled out a political aim in the killing.

"The preliminary investigation shows that there were no political motives behind the incident," the statement said, adding that the killers had been identified, arrested and the murder weapon seized.

A judicial source told AFP that "family reasons" were behind the killing, while the Lebanese media reported that Jamo's brother and nephew had been arrested.

The military said the investigation would continue to throw more light on the circumstances of the murder.

Jamo's Lebanese wife Siham Younis said on Wednesday that members of the Bath party in Syria had warned her husband against possible assassination.

She told reporters that Jamo, who headed the political and international divisions of the International Organisation for Arab Immigrants, had parked his car in front of the house and started to carry bags of shopping inside.

"Moments later I heard rapid-fire gunshots", she said. "I went into the room and I saw him lying on the ground, covered in blood."

Lebanese daily As-Safir reported on Friday that preliminary investigations indicated that the murder was sponsored by "the wife of Jamo, his brother and his nephew for family reasons".

Media reports said Jamo's wife was currently in Syria for his funeral.