"BEIRUT: The nephew of a Hezbollah minister was killed in recent fighting in Syria, security sources said Thursday, adding that the body of the slain fighter was returned to Lebanon for burial.
The sources said that the body of Hezbollah fighter Majd Fouad Hajj Hasan, the nephew of caretaker Agriculture Minister Hussein Hajj Hasan, was brought from Syria across the northern border into Lebanon at dawn Thursday.
They said Hasan, whose funeral was held in the Beirut southern suburb of Burj al-Barajneh later in the day, was killed during the battles raging around the Qalamoun range spanning Syria and Lebanon.
Troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad and rebels clashed on two key fronts near Damascus early in the day, activists told Agence France Presse.
They said the battles raged around the Qalamoun area that links Damascus to the central city of Homs and east of the capital where rebels are fighting to break a year-long siege.
In May, Hezbollah publically acknowledge its fighters were supporting forces loyal to President Bashar Assad against rebel groups seeking to topple the Syrian leader.
Lebanon’s official policy toward Syria is one of disassociating itself from the crisis in its neighbor. In 2012, rival political leaders also agreed to keep Lebanon out of regional crises. Hezbollah has ridiculed the pact known as the Baabda Declaration, describing it as “merely ink on paper.” – With AFP