Security: Hezbollah commander killed in Syria fighting

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported that other Hezbollah fighters died during battles in Nabuk

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A top military commander of Hezbollah, which is helping Syrian troops battle rebels, died in fighting Sunday in Syria, a Lebanese security source said.

“Ali Bazzi, a high-ranking Hezbollah military commander, was killed today in a combat zone,” the source said without specifying the location.

Earlier the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Hezbollah fighters died Sunday during battles in Nabuk, one of the last rebel-held areas in the Qalamoun region bordering Lebanon.

“There is fierce fighting in Nabuk between government forces, backed by Lebanese Hezbollah fighters, and al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,” said the watchdog.

A website for Bint Jbeil, Bazzi’s hometown in southern Lebanon, also announced the commander’s death and posted pictures of him in military garb and holding an automatic rifle.

“Ali Hussein Bazzi... died a martyr as he was carrying out his sacred duty as a jihadist,” read the announcement.

Meanwhile residents of southern Lebanon said that two other Hezbollah fighters -- Ali Saleh and Qassem Ghamloosh -- were also killed in Syria on Sunday and buried.

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has repeatedly defended his group’s involvement in Syria.

On Tuesday he said in an interview with Lebanese broadcaster OTV Hezbollah is fighting in Syria to protect Lebanon from the Syrian rebels, who include jihadists linked to al-Qaeda.

Hours after that interview Hezbollah announced the death of one of its leaders shot dead near Beirut, blaming Israel for his murder.

The Syria war has sparked sectarian tensions in Lebanon among supporters and opponents of President Bashar al-Assad.

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