Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb
Photo: AFP
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Top Sunni cleric: End Syria's tragedy
Cairo-based Al-Azhar, considered top Sunni Muslim authority, says bloodshed in Damascus has 'gone too far'

The Arab world's patience with Syria is wearing thin: The Cairo-based top Sunni Muslim institutions Al-Azhar called Monday for an end to the "tragedy" in Syria, saying that the bloodshed in Damascus has gone too far.


"Al-Azhar was patient for a long time and avoided talking about the situation in Syria because of its sensitive nature... but the situation has gone too far and there is no other solution but to put an end to this Arab and Islamic tragedy," the grand imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, said in a statement.



Al-Azhar "asks Syrian leaders to work immediately to end the bloodshed and to respond favorably to the legitimate demands of the Syrian masses," the statement, carried by Egypt's State-run news agency MENA, said.


The censure from the Sunni Islam's top center of religious learning, came on the heels of another diplomatic blow to Syrian President Bashar Assad: Earlier Monday Arab heavyweight Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador to Damascus, and the move was quickly echoed by Kuwait and Bahrain.


On Sunday, the Arab League issued an offical censure of the brutal crackdown in Syria and urged Damascus to cease its actions against pro-democracy protesters immediately.


The Arab world's growing concern over the unrest in Syria comes in tow with mounting international condemnation for Assad's regime. Assad claims the unrest is the act of "domestic terrorists" and that it is the regimes "duty" to quell them.


Meanwhile, Damascus' security forces have raided the town of Deir ez-Zor again on Monday. According to Syrian human rights activists, several people have been killed.


The raid came in wake of a new official appointment in Damascus, as Assad named General Daoud Rajha as his new defense minster.


News agencies contributed to this report



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