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Damascus Mosque Bomb Kills Pro-Government Cleric


An image grab taken from state-run Syrian television on March 21 shows an archive video of senior cleric Muhammad al-Buti speaking during a religious ceremony at the historic Umayad Mosque in Damascus.

An image grab taken from state-run Syrian television on March 21 shows an archive video of senior cleric Muhammad al-Buti speaking during a religious ceremony at the historic Umayad Mosque in Damascus.

An explosion at a Damascus mosque has killed at least 42 people, including a leading Syrian pro-regime Sunni cleric and his grandson, state media report.

Scores more were wounded in the blast at the Mazraa district’s Iman Mosque on March 21.

State television reported that the explosion was a "terrorist suicide attack."

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it was unclear if the explosion was caused by a car bomb or a mortar shell.

The elderly cleric, Muhammad al-Buti, was a staunch supporter of President Bashar al-Assad.

The reports came as the United Nations announced it would investigate the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria this week.

The UN says more than 70,000 people have been killed in the two-tear-long conflict in Syria.

About 1 million have been forced to flee the country.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, and Reuters
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