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Syria’s sacked political spy chief dies

Syria’s sacked political spy chief dies

BEIRUT: Rustom Ghazaleh, Syria’s former political intelligence chief, died on Friday after being fired for a quarrel with another regime official in which he was beaten up, a source close to his family said.

Ghazaleh, an ex-stalwart of President Bashar al Assad’s government, had been in hospital since the dispute with another intelligence official last month.

At the beginning of last month, President Assad fired both Ghazaleh and Gen Rafiq Shehadeh, head of military intelligence, after they quarrelled.

The two men had a violent argument over Ghazaleh’s involvement in the southern front of the conflict in Syria, a high-ranking security source said at the time.

Ghazaleh was replaced by his former deputy, Nazih Hassoun, with Mohamed Mahalla taking over as military intelligence chief.

Ghazaleh had reportedly been seeking greater involvement in the battle against rebels in the southern province of Daraa, where he was born.

Published in Dawn, April 25th, 2015

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