BEIRUT - A Syrian rebel commander who fought alongside al-Qaida founder Osama bin Laden and was close to its current chief, Ayman al-Zawahiri, was killed by a suicide attack on Sunday, intensifying in-fighting between rival Islamist fighters.

The Observatory for Human Rights in Syria said Abu Khaled al-Soury, also known as Abu Omair al-Shamy, a commander of the Salafi group Ahrar al-Sham was killed along with six comrades by al-Qaida splinter group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). It said al-Soury had fought in Iraq and Afghanistan

Al-Soury's death will fuel the infighting among jihadis fighting President Bashar Assad, a violent rivalry that has killed hundreds of fighters in recent months, rebels said.

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