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Syria: renewed call for end to attacks on civilians after Damascus mosque bombing

Amnesty International has called on all parties to the Syrian armed conflict to abide by international humanitarian law and end attacks which target or indiscriminately kill and injure civilians, after dozens were killed and injured in an explosion in a Damascus mosque yesterday.

Amnesty strongly condemned the bombing and reminded the parties to the conflict that targeting civilians and places of worship are war crimes.

Among those reported killed in yesterday’s mosque attack was the prominent Sunni Muslim cleric Mohammad al-Bouti, a supporter of President Bashar al-Assad. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Syria’s official state news agency SANA reported that 49 people were killed when “a suicide terrorist … blew himself up while scholar Dr Mohammad Said Ramadan al-Bouti was giving a religious lesson at al-Iman Mosque in al-Mazraa area”, while the head of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces - Moaz al-Khatib - told the AFP news agency that “we categorically condemn the assassination.”

Last week Amnesty published two briefings highlighting violations of international humanitarian law - some amounting to war crimes - by Syrian forces and pro-government militias, as well as by some of the many armed opposition groups currently operating in Syria.  

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