Pope Francis mourns victims in string of recent terror attacks

Vatican City, Nov 1, 2017 / 06:17 am (CNA/EWTN News).- After nearly 40 people were killed in terrorist attacks this week in Somalia, New York and Afghanistan, Pope Francis voiced his sorrow for loss of innocent life, and prayed for an end to the “murderous” hatred that spurs violence.

During his Nov. 1 Angelus address on All Saints Day, Pope Francis voiced his sorrow for the various attacks, saying he is “deeply saddened” by the loss of life.

“In deploring these acts of violence, I pray for the deceased, for the wounded and for their families,” he said, and prayed for the Lord to “convert the hearts of terrorists and free the world from hatred and the murderous folly that abuses the name of God so as to spread death.”

On Oct. 29, five Islamic extremists stormed a hotel after a suicide bomber detonated a vehicle filled with explosives at the entrance gate, killing some 23 people. The attack, which was claimed by Africa’s most deadly Islamic extremist group, Al-Shabab, took place just two weeks after another deadly blast in Somalia killed 350 people, marking the country’s worst-ever terrorist attack.

Three days later, on Oct. 31, a suicide bomber blew himself up near the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul, killing at least 5 and wounding around 20 others. In a video posted to social media, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, but did not specify what its target had been.

Also on Oct. 31, eight people were killed and at least 12 injured in New York City after a man in Home Depot truck plowed through a crowd on a pedestrian and bike path on West Street in lower Manhattan, before striking a school bus.

In a statement after the incident, New York Archbishop Cardinal Timothy Dolan said the city and the nation “are stunned and horrified by another act of senseless violence.”

“While details continue to emerge, one thing is clear: once again, no matter our religion, racial or ethnic background, or political beliefs, we must put our differences aside and come together in faith and love,” he said, and encouraged New Yorkers of all faiths “to support those who are injured, pray for those who have died as well as their families and loved ones, and work towards greater respect and understanding among all people so that heinous and evil acts like this become a thing of the past.”

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