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Pope prays for victims of ‘barbaric attack’ in Manchester

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VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Decrying the “barbaric attack in Manchester,” England, Pope Francis sent his condolences and prayers to all those affected “by this senseless act of violence,” an attack on a concert that British officials said was the deadliest case of terrorism since 2005.

In a telegram sent on the pope’s behalf by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, the cardinal said the pope “was deeply saddened to learn of the injury and tragic loss of life” after a suicide bomb explosion killed at least 22 people and injured another 59 at Manchester Arena May 22. Many concertgoers at the Ariana Grande concert were teenagers, young adults and families.

The pope “expresses his heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this senseless act of violence,” the telegram said, as “he commends the generous efforts of the emergency and security personnel and offers the assurance of his prayers for the injured, and for all who have died.”

“Mindful in a particular way of those children and young people who have lost their lives, and of their grieving families, Pope Francis invokes God’s blessings of peace, healing and strength upon the nation.”

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