Billed as the first Portuguese to take up arms against ISIS (or Daesh, as the terrorist group is now called), 22-year-old Mário Nunes, originally from Sagres in the Algarve, has been killed after being captured “somewhere near the Syrian border”.
The news comes almost nine-months since national weekly Sábado carried an in-depth ‘interview’ with the young fighter in which he said he wanted to be a part of history, “not just read about it in a book”.
Nunes went missing from his Air Force base in Beja in February last year (click here).
His Facebook page soon showed him to be fighting with the People’s Protection Units of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party in Syrian Kurdistan – more commonly known as the YPG.
As Portuguese media explained, Nunes would almost certainly have faced a court martial if he returned to Portugal – something Sábado appeared to think was likely last September (click here).
But whether this happened or not, the truth now appears to be that he has died fighting for the YPG.
Reports say he was caught by ‘elements of Daesh’ and executed.
National tabloid Correio da Manhã says Nunes’ father – a former GNR policeman – is “making efforts to localise (his son’s) body so that he can bring it back to Portugal” for burial.
Photo: Mário Nunes on left