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Dublin: 13 °C Friday 1 August, 2014

Service held for British doctor who died in Syria

Dr Abbas Khan, a father-of-two, was buried in London today.

Fatima Khan at a service in Regent's Park mosque in central London today.
Fatima Khan at a service in Regent's Park mosque in central London today.
Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/Press Association Images

THE FAMILY OF a British doctor who died in Syria attended a service for him at a mosque in London today.

Dr Abbas Khan died while being held in a Syrian jail earlier this month.

He had been treating the war wounded in Damascus after arriving in the country without a visa. He was soon arrested and imprisoned by the Syrian authorities.

His mother, Fatima, was inconsolable at the Regent’s Park mosque in the city today. According to nearby reporters, she could be heard saying:

Nobody help me, I love my son. I am the loser. I’m the failure.

I beg everybody. I touch everyone’s feet. Please give me my son.

She – and her family – claim that the 32-year-old was murdered.

Syria’s foreign ministry say he took his own life.

During today’s prayer service, his brother Shahnawaz Khan, described him as a “star”.

“Last night I sat down to undertake the morbid task of writing a eulogy for my brother,” he told the congregation. “My brother, to us, was our star. His star shone on our family.”

Dr Khan was due to be released the week his family found out about his death.

His body was escorted out of Syria on Saturday by the International Committee of the Red Cross and returned to family members waiting in Lebanon. An inquest, which will consider the results of a post-mortem exam, is due to open tomorrow.

He is survived by his wife Hanna, 30, son Abdullah, six, and daughter, Rurayya, seven.

Prime Minister David Cameron wrote to Khan’s mother Fatima on December 20, calling his death a “sickening and appalling tragedy”.

Additional reporting by AFP

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