• Death toll in Damascus mosque blast rises to 42-Syria government

    BEIRUT, March 21 (Reuters) - An explosion at a mosque in the Syrian capital on Thursday killed at least 42 people, including a senior pro-government Muslim cleric, and wounded 84, the Syrian health ministry said.

    State television and anti-government activists had earlier reported 15 dead. The television said a "terrorist suicide blast" hit the Iman Mosque in central Damascus, and Mohammed al-Buti, imam of the ancient Ummayyad Mosque, was among the dead.

    Buti, a government-appointed cleric reviled by the Syrian opposition movement, delivered the official weekly Friday mosque sermons on state television.

    (Reporting by Erika Solomon; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
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Turkey preparing to hand over body of pilot to Russia: PM

ANKARA The body of the pilot killed when Turkey shot down a Russian jet was taken to Turkey late on Saturday to be handed over to Russia, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said.