Doctor, nurse shot dead in separate eastern Syria attacks

Doctor, nurse shot dead in separate eastern Syria attacks
Nurse Bassem Mohammed was shot dead with a silencer at Al-Hol camp, while surgeon Abdel Mofedi Ali was killed in a drive-by shooting in front of a hospital in Deir az-Zour province.
2 min read
14 January, 2022
The UN said this week that it has received reports of more than 90 murders in Al-Hol camp since January 2021 [Getty]

Two healthcare workers were killed and another injured in three separate attacks in eastern Syria this week.

Bassem Mohammed, a nurse working for the Kurdish Red Crescent, a local medical organisation, was shot dead with a silencer on Tuesday while working at the Al-Hol camp in Hasakeh province.

The camp is home to almost 60,000 people, including relatives of Islamic State group fighters. 

The NGO said Mohammed was killed by IS militants.

“The two gunmen were pretending to be patients when they entered the medical centre, after trying to escape from al-Hol,” a source who requested anonymity told The New Arab’s sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

The Kurdish Red Crescent suspended its work in the camp in response to Mohammed's murder.

“We have stopped working in the Al-Hol refugee camp in solidarity with our fallen colleague, and await the circumstances of the investigation,” Kurdish Red Crescent member Ahmed Ibrahim told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

Less than a day after Mohammed's murder, an Ethiopian doctor was injured after he was stabbed at the camp, according to the Rojava Information Centre, a local monitor.

In Deir az-Zour province, surgeon Abdel Mofedi Ali was killed on Tuesday in a drive-by shooting at the steps of a hospital near the village of Al-Tayyana, according to local media reports.

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The extremist IS group was territorially defeated in Syria in March 2019.

However, the group has maintained a strong presence in Deir az-Zour province and in prisons and camps in eastern and northeastern Syria, including Al-Hol.

In a statement released after Mohammed's death, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said: "Over the past year, al-Hol has seen a significant increase in violence among residents, with a range of horrific attacks reported.

"Since January 2021 to date, the UN has received reports of 90 murders of Syrian and Iraqi camp residents, including at least two humanitarian workers. Many others have been severely injured".