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The Associated Press
In this Friday, Feb. 10, 2012 photo, Syrian doctors treat a wounded rebel who was injured by the Syrian government forces shelling, at a makeshift hospital in the Khaldiyeh neighborhood in Homs province, central Syria. (AP Photo)

BEIRUT — Syria's state-run news agency says gunmen have assassinated an army general in the capital Damascus.

It's the first killing of a high military officer in the Syrian capital since the uprising against President Bashar Assad's regime began in March.

The SANA news agency says three gunmen opened fire at Brig. Gen. Issa al-Khouli on Saturday morning as he left his home in the Damascus neighborhood of Rukn-Eddine. Al-Khouli was a doctor and the chief of a military hospital in the capital. The attack indicates that violence in Syria is reaching the tightly controlled capital, which has been relatively quiet compared to other cities.

Assad's crackdown of the uprising has killed more than 5,400 people, according to U.N. figures.