Dublin teenager killed in Syria23/02/2013 - 11:00:22
A Muslim teenager from Ireland who joined rebels in Syria last year has been killed, it was reported.
Shamseddin Gaidan, 16, who lived near Dublin, died last week, his father Ibrahim said.
“We don’t know where or how he was killed and we don’t know where his body might be,” Mr Gaidan told the Irish Times.
“It is very difficult to get any information. This confusion makes our grief much worse.”
Shamseddin reportedly moved to Ireland from Libya with his family in 2001. His father runs a Halal grocery shop in Navan, Co Meath.
The teenager spent his summer holidays in Libya last year and was supposed to fly back to Ireland via Istanbul in mid-August.
His family raised the alarm when he did not arrive in Dublin. They later learned he had crossed the Turkish border into Syria.
Mr Gaidan said: “We heard nothing from him until one day someone called from Syria saying Shamseddin is here and he is helping the Syrian people.”
The last Mr Gaidan heard from Shamseddin was a brief phone call some time later during which he entreated his son to return home.
“He refused, saying how could he leave when the Syrian regime was killing its own people, including children,” he added.
Mourners gathered at Tallaght mosque in Dublin this week to offer condolences to the Gaidan family. Prayers were also offered at St Patrick’s Classical School in Navan, where Shamseddin had studied.
Principal Colm O’Rourke said staff and students were very shocked to learn of his death.
“He was a good student who got on with everyone,” Mr O’Rourke told the Times.
“He was keen to go fight with the rebels. In 2011 he talked about wanting to join the Libyan revolution.”
The teenager is the second person from Ireland to die after joining rebels in Syria. Egyptian-born Hudhaifa El Sayed, 22, from Drogheda, was shot dead in northern Syria in December.
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