A Dutch Jesuit priest who chose to remain in the beseiged city of Homs to care for its starving population has been shot dead, according to media reports, writes The Catholic Herald.
Fr Frans van der Lugt, a 75-year-old psychologist, had remained in the rebel-controlled Old City throughout the siege, which is now more than 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.
He came to Syria in 1966, and in the 1980s had set up an agricultural project outside the city to help young people with mental disabilities. He contended that hunger was sending some people insane.
Dutch priest in Homs ‘shot dead’ (The Catholic Herald)
Dutch Jesuit shot dead in besieged city of Homs (The Tablet)