Syracuse University says a graduate student filming the unrest in Syria has been killed there.

University Chancellor Nancy Cantor says Bassel Al Shahade died Monday in the embattled city of Homs, once a stronghold of opposition to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Amer Matar, a friend of Shahade who now lives in Germany, tells The Associated Press by phone that Shahade was a well-known activist in Syrian civil society and cultural circles before the uprising 15 months ago.

Details of Shahade's killing aren't available.

Cantor says in a statement that Shahade was a Fulbright Scholar pursuing a master of fine arts in film degree at the university's College of Visual and Performing Arts. He's from Damascus.

His death comes amid reports of a massacre by Syrian government forces last week.