BEIRUT (AP) -- Activists say that the Kuwaiti commander of an al-Qaida-linked group was killed while fighting government troops and Hezbollah fighters inside Syria.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says Abu Azzam al-Kuwaiti, a leader of the Nusra Front, was killed late Friday in fighting around the western town of Yabroud.
Amer al-Qalamouni, an activist in the area, and the Observatory said Saturday al-Kuwaiti was a key mediator for the release of a dozen nuns held by rebels earlier this week.
His death came as Syrian forces and Hezbollah fighters advanced in Yabroud amid heavy fighting.
Yabroud is the last major rebel-held town in the mountainous Qalamoun region, where government forces have been waging an offensive for months to try to sever rebel supply lines across the porous border into Lebanon.