A European Union policy officer whose group was giving humanitarian aid to victims of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s suppression of rebels was killed by an army missile near Damascus on Tuesday.

EU policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement, “I have learned today with great sadness of the tragic death on 12 March of Ahmad Shehadeh, a policy officer at the EU delegation in Syria, [who died] “while providing humanitarian help to the community.”

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The diplomat lived in an impoverished suburb of Sunni Muslims, and was part of a local delegation of the European Union, which has removed its international diplomats from Syria.

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