Two Murshidians have been killed and another was injured in the suburb of Demserkho, in the coastal city of Lattakia, after a dispute broke out between them and members of the National Defense Militia. The army was later deployed.
“The dispute began when a young man from Aleppo knocked on the door of a house in Demsekho Meadows area”, a witness told al-Quds Al-Arabi.
“The house was inhabited by the al-Ghada family (whose members are fighters in the National Defense Militias), when one of them opened the door for the young man from Aleppo, he began shouting and beating him. Another man from the Murshidia community intervened to end the problem, but the man from al-Ghada family started shouting at him too, and here began an armed clash between the National Defense Militias and the Murshidians", he said.
The witness added that "as a result of these clashes, a young man and a woman from the Murshidia community were killed, while a third one is in a critical condition in hospital".
Murshidians have been known to carry arms since the outbreak of the revolution in Syria, after having been persecuted by the Syrian security services prior to President Hafez al-Assad coming to power in 1970. Consequently, Murshidians do not support the overthrow of the Syrian regime.
Several clashes also broke out between the Murshidian community and the regime militias before the revolution in Syria, in early 2010, when a dispute between a young Murshidian from the village of al-Bassa and a supporter of the Syrian regime turned into an armed clash. The Murshidian gunmen vandalized an Alawite shrine.
Neither the security forces nor the army were allowed to intervene then, until the Special Forces and the Fourth Brigade (led by Maher al-Assad) entered the region.