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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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