DAMASCUS, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of Syrians on Saturday took part in the funeral of a prominent cleric who was killed in a suicide bombing targeting a mosque in central the capital Damascus two days ago.
On Thursday evening, Muslim scholar Mohammad Saed Ramadan al- Bouti, his grandson and another 49 were killed when a suicide bomber detonated himself inside al-Eman Mosque in central al- Mazraa neighborhood in Damascus while al-Bouti was lecturing. The blast also left over 80 others injured.
On religious hymns, the coffins of al-Bouti and his grandson, carried on shoulders and draped in white shrouds, were brought into the time-honored Umayyad Mosque in Damascus Saturday for funeral prayers before being buried in nearby cemetery of Salahuddien.
Syria's Grand Mufti Ahmad Badr Addien Hasoun, Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi and some other officials flanked al-Bouti' s son while entering the mosque.
The Syrian government has pledged that the incident would not pass without punishment and accused al-Qaida of orchestrating it. President Bashar al-Assad also condemned the attack, saying that the blood of al-Bouti and his fellow martyrs would not go in vain.
After al-Bouti's death, the rebels' Free Syrian Army denied responsibility for the attack, saying they "don't target the houses of God." However, pro-opposition tweets on Twitter have shown great deal of gloating over his death.
Al-Bouti, a professor in Islamic sciences, is one of the major Muslim scholars in the Islamic world.
He was known for his anti-terrorism stances and criticism of the radical rebels. In his latest prominent lectures, the 84-year- old called on the country's grand mufti to declare general mobilization to back the Syrian troops in its battles against " mercenaries."