BEIRUT — A Red Cross official said Saturday that Damascus has released the body of a British doctor who died in Syrian custody and that the physician’s remains are now being transported to Lebanon.

Beirut-based Samar El Kadi said Syrian government officials handed over the body of 32-year-old Abbas Khan to the Red Cross on Saturday.

Khan was seized by government troops in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo in November 2012, after he entered the country on a humanitarian mission, according to his family.

He appeared to be on the verge of being released when his death was announced earlier this week.

Syrian authorities say Khan committed suicide in custody.

But in Britain, Hugh Robertson, an official from the Foreign Office, said that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government effectively murdered Khan.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.