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Pope Francis deplores ‘barbaric’ Manchester bombing

Vatican City: Pope Francis on Tuesday deplored the deadly terrorist attack on the Manchester Arena which was claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group, calling the bombing a “barbaric” and “senseless act of violence”.

“His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the injury and tragic loss of life caused by the barbaric attack in Manchester,” read a telegram sent by the Vatican’s second-in-command, Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin.

“He expresses his heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this senseless act of violence,” the telegram continued.

At least 22 people were killed when a lone attacker detonated a homemade bomb inside the foyer at the Manchester Arena on Monday night after a concert by US singer Ariana Grande had ended.

Francis was praying for the victims and their families, “mindful in a particular way of those children and young people who have lost their lives, and of their grieving families,” the telegram said.

Monday’s attack, the worst in Britain since the July 7, 2005 London bombings, has drawn condemnation from western and Muslim nations alike.

–IANS