A Syrian footballer who became a symbolic figure in the rebellion against the country’s president, Bashar al-Assad, has died of wounds suffered in a battle with government forces.
Abdul Baset al-Sarout, 27, who rose to fame as a goalkeeper for his home city of Homs, joined peaceful protests against Assad in 2011 and was known as the “singer of the revolution”. He later took up arms as the country slid into civil war. Four of his brothers and his father have also been killed in the fighting.
Cpt Mustafa Maarati, a spokesman for the Jaysh al-Izza rebel group, said Sarout died of wounds sustained two days ago while fighting in northern Hama province.
Fighting has been escalating in north-western Syria, the last major rebel stronghold, since April.
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