TEHRAN, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- An Iranian engineer en route from Damascus to Beirut was "assassinated by Syrian terrorists," Iran's official website IRNA said.
Hassan Sardar Shateri, an experienced engineer in construction and road-building in war zones, was chief of staff for Iran's reconstruction effort in southern Lebanon
"Martyr Shateri who was in Aleppo to implement reconstruction and development projects in that city, was assassinated by Syrian terrorists while he was on his way to the Damascus airport to return to Lebanon," IRNA said Thursday afternoon.
Earlier, another Iranian website, Mashreghnews.ir, blamed Israel for the killing.
There was no mention of where the incident took place or how he was killed.
Other Arab media reports said Shateri also used the name Houssam Khoshnevis, and said he was a senior member of Iran's Revolutionary Guards. The reports said President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad personally appointed Khoshnevis to the job and he began working in Lebanon in 2006.
A statement from the Iranian Embassy in Beirut said Khoshnevis was in charge of reconstruction and development in Lebanon and was killed "at the hands of armed terrorists," the Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star said.