BEIRUT // Syria's president has vowed to rid the country of extremists whom he blamed for a suicide bombing that killed 42 people, including a top Sunni cleric.
Today's statement by Bashar Al Assad came hours after the explosion ripped through a mosque in the heart of Damascus, killing Sheikh Mohammad Said Ramadan Al Buti.
It was one of the most stunning assassinations of the two-year civil war and the first time a suicide bomber struck inside a mosque.
Al Buti was a staunch supporter of Mr Assad. More than 84 were wounded in the attack.
In the statement carried by Syria's state news agency, Mr Assad said Al Buti represented true Islam in facing "the forces of darkness and extremist" ideology.
Mr Assad said his forces will "wipe out" and "clean our country" of the attackers.