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Syrian TV confirms video authenticity of Bouti’s killing

Published: Updated:

Following a televised interview with the son of Mohammed Saeed al-Bouti, the country’s state television confirmed that the emerged video showing the killing to be valid after days of calling it “fake”.

On Wednesday, Bouti's son Toufik was interviewed on state television and confirmed the video's authenticity.

“Those who were present told me they saw my father's face and body, that he fell to his side and that he fixed his cap,” he said.

Toufik also said the first man to approach Bouti after the explosion was his own son Ahmed, “who was seated in front of his grandfather.”

Bouti's grandson was also reported to have been killed in the same explosion.

Syrian television then backtracked on its denial after Toufik Bouti's comments.

“After doubting the authenticity of the video in our newscast yesterday (Tuesday), and for the sake of our credibility, we apologies to our viewers for the mistake we made,” a news presenter said.

The footage has raised much speculation among the opposition, with activists suggesting that the cleric may have been killed by the regime.

After the footage was broadcasted Al-Arabiya News Channel On Tuesday, state television said the video was a “fake”, and accused the channel of “taking advantage of the blood of a martyr.”

At the time of his death, media reports had said the 84-year-old imam was killed by a suicide bomb.

There has been ongoing speculation, however, that the sheikh – who is known to sympathize with the regime of Bashar al-Assad – was murdered and not killed by the explosion.

Bouti held weekly sermons at the historic Ummayyad Mosque and in recent months, Syrian TV has carried his weekly addresses live. Bouti also had a regular religious TV program.