Syrian authorities have arrested a relative of President Bashar Assad on suspicion of shooting a senior army officer in a traffic dispute, setting off rare protests in a coastal stronghold of the Assad family.

Latakia's Gov. Khodr al-Salem says in comments published late Monday by state-run news agency SANA that Suleiman Assad was arrested at a farm in the province's countryside.

He said Assad, the son of the president's first cousin, Hilal, will be subject to legal measures that apply to any similar case.

Suleiman Assad had been on the run since he reportedly killed the army officer in a road rage incident two days ago.

The killing sparked mass protests in Latakia, where more than 1,000 people took to the streets calling for his execution.