Senior scientist assassinated in Syria
Damascus : Aziz Asber, the head of the Scientific Research Centre in Syria's central province of Hama, has been assassinated, according to activists and pro-government reports.
Asber was killed when an explosion targeted his vehicle in Masyaf in the western countryside of Hama late on Saturday, killing him and his driver, Xinhua news agency quoted the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as saying.
The Britain-based watchdog group said the man had close ties with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Iran.
The Scientific Research Centre in Masyaf has been targeted by the Israelis several times and most recently was in last month, giving rise to reported suspect that Israel is behind the assassination of Asber, according to the watchdog.
Some Israeli reports said the Syrian scientist was involved in Iranian missile programme.
Asber was also on the sanction list of the US for developing long-range missiles.
There have been no official comments from the Syrian government, with pro-government activists posting photos online of a charred car said to be the scientist's.