Last updated: 4 September, 2017

Iran condemns deadly mosque bombing in Syria

Syria’s key regional ally Iran on Friday condemned a suicide mosque bombing in Damascus that killed the country’s top Sunni Muslim cleric and at least 40 other people, Fars news agency reported.

“The foreign ministry condemns the martyrdom of Sheikh Mohamed Saeed al-Bouti, who was killed while in the company of his pupils by the savage action of extremist groups,” the ministry was quoted as saying.

It said the death of Bouti, “who was well-known for favouring Islamic resistance against the zionist regime (Israel), will expose the plot by the US, zionist regime and their regional allies who aid and arm Syrian terrorist groups to create religious divisions.”

The Islamic republic is a key supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and regularly denounces support for the rebels from the West and Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Syrian state news agency SANA said 49 people were killed in Thursday’s bombing, including Bouti.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the toll at 46, saying that around 15 of the wounded were in critical condition and the number of dead was likely to rise.