Pope Francis prays for victims of Istanbul bombing

Pope Francis expressed “prayerful solidarity” with victims of the suicide bombing in Istanbul on Saturday.

“[Pope Francis grieved] to learn of the casualties caused by the bombing in Istanbul … and he expresses his prayerful solidarity with all touched by this tragedy,” read a telegram to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan from Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State.

“His Holiness asks you to convey his spiritual closeness to them, as well as to the personnel assisting the injured.”

“Commending the souls of those who have died to the mercy of the Almighty, Pope Francis invokes divine strength and peace upon those who mourn, and upon the entire nation,” read the telegram.

Efken Ala, Turkey’s interior minister, said the attack that killed four people in the Turkish capital’s main shopping street was carried out by the so-called Islamic State.

The attack in Istiklal Street, Istanbul’s most popular shopping district, is the fourth bombing in Turkey this year and the second one by Islamist militants.

In January a suicide bomber blew himself up in Istanbul’s historic heart, killing 12 German tourists, according to a report by Reuters.

Israel has confirmed that three of its citizens died in the blast. Two of them held dual citizenship with the United States. An Iranian was also killed, Turkish officials have said.


The Guardian
Catholic World News
Catholic Herald
Image: AP/Catholic Herald

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