DAMASCUS, (Xinhua): Armed rebels beheaded a pro- government Muslim imam in Syria’s northern province of Aleppo, state media said Saturday.
After beheading Sheikh Hasan Saif Addien, the armed groups hanged his head atop the minaret of al-Hasan Mosque in the strategic town of Sheikh Maksoud in northern Aleppo, the report said.
Some pro-government media accused al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front of killing the imam whose lectures and preaches had focused on national unity and denounced the “huge conspiracy” plotted against Syria.
Arabi Press’ website said the rebels stormed Sheikh Maksoud but were later driven out by the Syrian army.
Attacks on pro-government clerics have recently become rampant in the rebels’ two-year-old revolt against President Bashar al- Assad.
On March 21, prominent Muslim scholar Mohammad Saed Ramadan al- Bouti and his grandson, along with 49 others, were killed by a suicide bomber who detonated himself inside al-Eman Mosque in al- Mazraa neighborhood of the capital Damascus. The deadly blast also left more than 80 people injured.
Following the bombing, the Syrian government vowed to punish the perpetrators of the crime and accused al-Qaida of orchestrating it.