Pope Francis ‘deeply saddened’ over Baghdad explosion


Pope Francis has said he was “deeply saddened” over the loss of lives in Tuesday’s bomb attack on a busy Baghdad market.

The blast, which took place in Al-Wuhailat market as families prepared for Eid Al-Adha, left more than 30 people dead and dozens injured in the deadliest bombing in the Iraqi capital for six months.

In a message to the Apostolic Nuncio to Iraq, Archbishop Mitja Leskovar, the pope said: “No act of violence will diminish the efforts of those who strive to promote reconciliation and peace.”

The head of the Roman Catholic church, who visited Iraq earlier this year, also passed on his condolences to the families and friends of those killed in the explosion.

Head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, Cardinal Louis Raphael I Sako, who accompanied the pope on his 4-day March trip, told Vatican Radio: “It was truly a massacre, on the eve of the Muslim feast. It is a tragic thing, but unfortunately it is not the first time.

“There is no security or stability in Iraq, this attack is just the latest example. It is a moral problem: Corruption and the killing of innocent people are immoral acts.”

Sako, currently in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, for the spiritual retreat of the Chaldean clergy, asked to pray for Muslims celebrating Eid, for peace and stability in Iraq, and for the Church.

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