Pope Francis ‘deeply saddened’ by Baghdad market bombing

CNA Staff   By CNA Staff

Pope Francis, pictured on Oct. 4, 2014. / Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk.

Vatican City, Jul 20, 2021 / 15:00 pm (CNA).

Pope Francis is “deeply saddened” by a bombing at a market in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, that killed at least 30 people.

In a telegram released by the Vatican on July 20, the pope offered his condolences to the families and friends of those who died in an explosion at the al-Wuhailat market as families prepared to celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.

“His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life in the explosion at the al-Wuhailat market in Baghdad and he sends condolences to the families and friends of those who have died,” said the message sent on the pope’s behalf by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

The Sunni Muslim Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the bombing in the eastern Sadr City area of Baghdad, which is predominantly Shia Muslim.

Reuters reported that women and children were believed to be among those killed in the blast, which also injured dozens of people.

It was the third bomb attack on a market in Sadr City this year.

In March, Pope Francis became the first pope to visit Iraq.

Last week, the pope sent his condolences after more than 60 people were killed in a fire in a coronavirus isolation ward at a hospital in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriya.

The latest papal telegram, addressed to Archbishop Mitja Leskovar, the apostolic nuncio in Iraq, concluded: “Entrusting their souls to the mercy of Almighty God, His Holiness renews his fervent prayers that no act of violence will diminish the efforts of those who strive to promote reconciliation and peace in Iraq.”

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