BEIRUT — A senior Sunni cleric was killed in a bombing at a mosque in Damascus on Thursday, according to official Syrian media and opposition groups.
At least 41 worshipers were also killed and 84 others wounded in the blast at the Iman mosque in the capital’s Mazraa district, the Syrian Arab News Agency reported. State media outlets described the explosion as a suicide bomb attack, but some opposition groups said it was a car bombing.
Mohammed Said Ramadan al-Bouti was the imam of the Ummayad mosque, the largest and most important Sunni mosque in Syria, and was known for his support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad — a controversial stance given that many Sunnis support the opposition.
Bouti, 84, was teaching a religious class at the Iman mosque the time of the explosion. In a sermon last month, the cleric called on devout Muslims to wage jihad in support of Assad.