A former supervisor at Primark who went to fight with the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has been killed in Syria.
Muhammad Hamidur Rahman, 25, was one of an “estimated” 500 Britons who joined the Syrian rebels in their fight against Bashar al-Assad.
Rahman, from Portsmouth, was shot dead in a gun fight two weeks ago, a day before Eid, said his family.
His father, Abdul Hannan, 52, a restaurant worker, said the family received a text message from a friend of Rahman in Syria who informed them that their son was dead.
The latest killing brings the death toll of British fighters in Syria to 19, according to terrorism experts at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) at King’s College, London, which monitors the war in Syria.
Rahman is the second British fighter from Portsmouth to die in Syria.
The first was his friend Iftekhar Jaman, 23, who died in December.
Rahman’s father, Mr Hannan, said that Jaman went to Syria first at the beginning of last year, and may have possibly influenced his son’s decision via social media.
He said that Rahman did not tell any member of his family that he was going to Syria, but suddenly disappeared from Portsmouth.
Days later, they received a call from him saying he was in Syria.
Mr Hannan said: “He asked us to pray for him, and said he wanted to become a shaheed (martyr) for the sake of Allah.”
The location of Rahman’s death is unknown.
The war in Syria is entering its fourth year. More than 200,000 Syrians have been killed; millions have been displaced and are currently seeking refuge in neighbouring countries.
ISIS declared the restoration of the caliphate on Sunday 29th June (first day of Ramadan).
The Al Qaeda splinter group has now renamed itself the “Islamic State” and controls an area stretching from Aleppo in Syria to Fallujah in Iraq.
It is currently in the midst of a fierce battle with the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
The US carried out “targeted airstrikes” against ISIS fighters over the weekend in the capital city of Kurdistan, Arbil.
President Barack Obama justified the attacks under the guise of “humanitarian intervention” against the alleged genocide of the Yazeedis.
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