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Yasser Arafat

Said Musa Maragha dies at 86; Arafat ally became an enemy

Said Musa Maragha, a Palestinian military commander who rose through the ranks of the Palestine Liberation Organization to become a trusted lieutenant of PLO leader Yasser Arafat, then broke away to lead Syrian-backed Palestinian rebels who besieged Arafat's forces in northern Lebanon, has died. He was 86.

Maragha, known as Abu Musa, died of cancer Tuesday in Damascus, where he had lived for many years, his aides and hospital officials told the Associated Press.

Born in 1927 in Silwan, a village overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem, Abu Musa was a man of shifting loyalties but also one who resolutely opposed the peace process with Israel.

After the creation of the...