Boxing champion shot dead in Syria's Aleppo: SANA

A Syrian boxing champion, Ghiath Tayfour, was shot dead today in the northern city of Aleppo, which has been largely spared the unrest sweeping the country, the state news agency SANA reported.

An armed "terrorist group... targeted boxer Tayfour while he was passing near the courtyard of Aleppo University in his car," it said.

"They opened fire on him and he was immediately martyred as five bullets entered his head."

Tayfour was national boxing champion from 1984 to 1998, SANA said.

Syrian authorities have blamed the year-long protests and bloodshed in the country, which monitors say has cost more than 8,500 lives in a regime crackdown, on armed, foreign-backed terrorists.

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