|AP | Washington Post image|
Fr. Frans van der Lugt, a 75-year-old psychologist, had remained in the rebel-controlled Old City throughout the siege, which is now over 600-days long, with government forces surrounding them. He had been offered the chance to leave, but chose to stay. His death was reported by the pro-government Al-Mayadeen TV, and the Jesuits have since told the Catholic News Service that Fr. van der Lugt was beaten and then shot with two bullets in the head. The Washington Post reports that a masked gunman killed the priest inside a monastery in the Bustan al-Diwan area of the city, although the identity and motive of the killer remains unclear.