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Five nuclear scientists reported killed in Syria

Monitoring group says unknown assailants attacked bus north of Damascus; identity of victims still unclear

Emergency response teams rush to the scene of a reported barrel bomb attack by government forces in the al-Muasalat area in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on November 6, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/AMC/Tamer al-Halabi)
Emergency response teams rush to the scene of a reported barrel bomb attack by government forces in the al-Muasalat area in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on November 6, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/AMC/Tamer al-Halabi)

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Unknown assailants killed five nuclear engineers Sunday while they were on a bus just north of Damascus, near the research center where they worked, a monitor said on Sunday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of sources on the ground for its reports, was unable however to say how they were killed or supply their nationalities.

“Unidentified attackers murdered five nuclear energy engineers who worked in the scientific research center near the neighborhood of Barzeh, northern Damascus,” said Observatory director Rami Abdul-Rahman.

“It was not immediately clear whether the bus that they were traveling on was hit by a bomb, or by gunfire,” Abdul-Rahman told AFP.

In July last year, six people who worked at the same center were killed in a mortar attack carried out by rebels seeking President Bashar al-Assad’s ouster.

Another military research center, also near Damascus, was also hit by a deadly Israeli raid in May 2013.

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