BEIRUT: Hezbollah slammed Thursday the explosion that killed a senior pro-Syrian regime imam as a “horrible terrorist crime,” urging the Syrians to be aware of schemes to spark strife in their country.
“The horrible terrorist crime that targeted the Iman Mosque near Damascus ... is one that goes beyond the limits of atrocities,” said a statement by Hezbollah.
The Syrian Health Ministry said that at least 42 people were killed in the Iman Mosque in central Damascus, including Sheikh Mohammad Said Ramadan alButi, imam of the ancient Umayyad Mosque.
Buti, a state-appointed imam, delivered the official weekly Friday mosque sermons on state television. He called on Syrians to join the Army and contribute to defeating rebels.
Hezbollah said the terrorist groups that planned and carried out the explosion did not belong to any religion and had no morals.
“Hezbollah condemns this aggressive act which targeted mosques, clerics and innocent worshipers and calls on the Syrian people to be more aware of the nature, reality and background of the conflict in their country and to stand united to confront schemes to spark strife and destroy their country,” the party said.
Hezbollah extended its condolences to the family of Buti and the rest of the dead.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on March 22, 2013, on page 4.