Pope Francis has sent a telegram condemning Monday night’s terror attack in Manchester, England, while expressing his condolences and prayers for victims and their families.
“His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the injury and tragic loss of life caused by the barbaric attack in Manchester, and he expresses his heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this senseless act of violence,” the telegram reads.
The terror attack, which has been claimed by the Islamic State terror group, took the lives of at least 22 people Monday night and left at least another 60 wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up after a concert by pop star Ariana Grande.
The Pope “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,” the papal text states.
“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,” it concludes.
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack, calling the Ariana Grande concert a “gathering of the Crusaders in the British city of Manchester.”
The ISIS press release referred to the children attending the show as “worshippers of the cross” while calling the attacker “a soldier of the Khalifa.”
According to British Prime Minister Theresa May, police have determined the identity of the suspected suicide bomber but cannot yet announce the attacker’s name.
May condemned the suicide bombing as a “callous terrorist attack,” and said that it was “among the worst terrorism we have experienced in the United Kingdom.”
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