Spaniard killed in combat in Syria

Victim was one of four Muslim men from Ceuta who entered strife-torn nation through Turkey

A Spanish citizen was killed earlier this month fighting in the civil uprising in Syria, according to his family. He is the first Spaniard to be known to have died in the conflict.

The family of 32-year-old Rachid Wahbi, who worked as a cab driver in the North African exclave of Ceuta, received a phone call last Friday from Syria indicating he had died as a "martyr" on June 1 fighting for the revolution.

Rachid traveled to Syria with three other Muslims from Ceuta in April to fight against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, concealing the purpose of their trip. They said they wanted to study the Koran in religious schools in Damascus, Spanish security forces said Tuesday.

Spanish police are investigating how they were recruited, who paid for their trip, and what route they took. They apparently entered Syria from Turkey where the Free Syrian Army fighting against the al-Assad regime has a presence.

Representatives of the Free Syrian Army have said that they do not recruit foreign jihadists.

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