A Dutch priest who had insisted on staying in a rebel—held enclave in the central Syrian city of Homs was killed by an unknown gunman Monday, an opposition watchdog said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that Jesuit Father Frans van der Lugt had refused to leave the besieged Old City of Homs as long as Christian parishioners remained there.

In February, United Nations and Red Crescent workers evacuated more than 1,300 civilians from the Old City during a temporary truce that accompanied peace talks in Geneva between government and opposition representatives.

Most of the strategic city, an early stronghold of the uprising against President Bashar al—Assad, was recaptured by government forces in mid—2012, leaving up to 3,000 civilians holed up alongside fighters in the remaining rebel enclaves.

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