Egyptian activist Mohamed Mehrez has been killed in combat in Syria, according to reports circulating on social media on Wednesday which were confirmed by Mehrez's family.
According to news reports, Mehrez, who had Islamist sympathies, was shot down by a pro-regime sniper in a battle last Tuesday near Aleppo airport.
The 27-year-old been well-known on the Egyptian blogging and activist scene since 2005, initially as an opponent of the Mubarak regime.
A friend of the slain activist, who wished to remain anonymous, told Ahram Online that Mehrez had previously been a member of the Muslim Brotherhood but had left the group and become an independent Islamist activist.
"Mehrez wanted to travel to Syria for a long time to fight among the rebel fighters against Al-Assad's regime; he was saving money and had sports training in order to be fit for fighting there," said a friend of the slain activist, who spoke to Ahram Online on condition of anonymity.
The friend added that Mehrez went to Syria alone and not as part of a group.
Mehrez's brother Yasser Mehrez is an official spokesperson of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
Many Egyptian activists and Twitter users expressed their shock at the news of his death.
Egyptian blogger and activist Mohamed Gamal, who posts on Twitter under the hashtag @Gemyhood, posted: "Do not ask about Mohamed Mehrez's political affiliation - what I know is that he worked and supported everybody from 2005 until his death. Please leave him alone."
Mehrez, a lawyer, had previously worked in Libya, but had to leave during the Libyan revolution. He was married with one daughter
Mehrez is the latest Egyptian to be killed in combat in Syria while fighting with the Free Syrian Army against the Syrian regime. Over the past two years, no fewer than 10 Egyptians were killed while fighting in Syria with rebel groups. According to observers, most of those killed are Islamists.