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UN Security Council puts aside divisions and condemns terrorist attack on a mosque in Syria

The U.N. Security Council has put aside its deep divisions and issued a rare statement condemning "in the strongest terms" the terrorist attack on a mosque in Damascus that killed more than 40 Syrians, including a senior Muslim cleric.

The suicide bombing killed Sheik Mohammad Said Ramadan al-Buti, a top Sunni preacher, as he was giving a sermon Thursday.

The Security Council statement called terrorism a serious threat to international peace and security and said any terrorist acts "are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation."

The statement, approved Friday, reiterated the council's determination to combat all forms of terrorism and its "condemnation of all acts of violence against civilian populations."

Russia and China have vetoed three Western-backed resolutions aimed at pressuring the Syrian government to end the conflict.