No extra security for papal trips despite assassination threats

No extra security measures will be taken during upcoming trips by Pope Francis to Albania and Turkey despite alleged assassination threats.

Threats to kill the Pope by the terrorist Islamic State were revealed by Iraq’s ambassador to the Holy See in an interview in an Italian newspaper on Tuesday.

But Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi, SJ, said there was “nothing serious” in the threats and that “this news has no foundation”.

“There is no particular concern in the Vatican,” he said.

Fr Lombardi confirmed that the Pope would travel in the same open-top car he uses in St Peter’s Square in Rome while he is in Albania this weekend.

The Pope said he decided to visit Albania because “it has suffered greatly as a result of a terrible atheist regime and is now realising the peaceful co-existence of its various religious components”.

Pope Francis’ trip to Albania will be his first to a Muslim-majority country.

His second, to Turkey, is expected to take place at the end of November.

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