Suicide bombing in Syrian mosque kills top pro-Assad Sunni preacher
BEIRUT (AP) - A suicide bomb ripped through a mosque in the heart of the Syrian capital on Thursday, killing a top Sunni Muslim preacher and outspoken supporter of President Bashar Assad in one of the most stunning assassinations of Syria's 2-year-old civil war.
At least 41 others were killed and more than 84 wounded. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Thursday's attack.
The slaying of Sheikh Mohammad Said Ramadan al-Buti removes one of the few remaining pillars of support for Mr Assad among the majority Sunni sect that has risen up against him.
It also marks a new low in the Syrian civil war: While suicide bombings blamed on Islamic extremists fighting with the rebels have become common, Thursday's attack was the first time a suicide bomber detonated his explosives inside a mosque.