Report: Local al Qaeda affiliate chief killed in Syria

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A local chief of an al Qaeda-affiliated terror organization was killed in clashes among rebels in the Syrian province of Idlib on Sunday, Agence France-Presse reported.

Abu Abdullah al-Libi was killed along with 12 other fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), an umbrella organization of Iraqi insurgent groups, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

“He was killed in clashes with a group of rebel fighters near the town of Hazano,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

The insurgent organization has clashed with other Syrian rebel groups in recent days. Rebel fighters initially welcomed the arrival of hardline extremists affiliated with al Qaeda, but have turned against them in several areas over disputes about ideology and strategy, AFP reported.

When the organization announced it would expand into Syria, it initially said it planned to merge with the Al-Nusra Front. However, Nusra, which has pledged allegiance to al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri, rejected the merger and there were reports that it had clashed with ISIS in northeastern Hasakeh province on Saturday, AFP reported.

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