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Chief cleric of Damascus murdered in bomb attack – Syrian state media

Chief cleric of Damascus murdered in bomb attack – Syrian state media
Sheikh Muhammad Adnan Al-Afyouni, the Mufti of Damascus, has been killed in a “terrorist explosion” near the Syrian capital, the SANA news agency reported. Al-Afyouni was one of the region’s most prominent Islamic scholars.

Sheikh Al-Afyouni died in the town of Qudsaya, near Damascus, on Thursday evening. Government sources told SANA that an “explosive device” had been planted on his car.

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No terrorist group has as yet been blamed for or taken responsibility for the bombing.

As one of the country’s most senior Islamic scholars, Sheikh Al-Afyouni attended religious ceremonies alongside President Bashar Assad. At a celebration marking the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday last November, Sheikh Al-Afyouni denounced terrorism and prayed for the Syrian government and army.

Though Syria has been torn asunder by war and insurgency for nearly a decade, the killing of the Sunni cleric is the most high-profile assassination of a government-allied religious leader since a suicide bomber killed more than two dozen people in a mosque in 2013.

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