Pope Francis Denounces ‘Abhorrent’ Terror Attack in Kabul, Afghanistan

An Afghan man receives treatment at a hospital after a suicide car bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan April 19, 2016. REUTERS
REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

The Vatican has sent a telegram expressing Pope Francis’ “heartfelt condolences” for the “abhorrent” terrorist attack that took place in the capital city of Afghanistan Wednesday morning.

The suicide car bombing took place during rush hour in central Kabul Wednesday morning, killing at least 80 and injuring more than 350 more. It was one of the most deadly attacks in Kabul’s history and struck in the supposedly secure diplomatic district, not far from the German embassy.

No terrorist group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Taliban, a militant Islamist group active in the area, expressly denied involvement in the bombing. The Islamic State, which is active in the area and has carried out recent attacks in the country, has said nothing so far.

“Having learned with sadness of the abhorrent attack in Kabul and of the many dead and seriously injured, Pope Francis expresses his heartfelt condolences to all affected by this brutal act of violence,” the Pope’s message reads.

The Pope “commends the souls of the deceased to the mercy of the Almighty, and assures the people of Afghanistan of his continued prayers for peace,” the telegram concludes.

In its news release, the Vatican described the telegram as the Pope’s condolences for “the victims of the terrorist attack in Kabul.”

During his recent 9-day trip abroad, President Donald Trump challenged 55 world leaders from Arab and other Muslim-majority nations in Riyadh to take a proactive role in combatting Islamic terrorism.

In that speech, Trump called for unity in pursuing “the one goal that transcends every other consideration. That goal is to meet history’s great test—to conquer extremism and vanquish the forces of terrorism.”

In this unique and preeminent task, Trump said, “Muslim-majority countries must take the lead in combating radicalization.”

“Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person, and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith,” Mr. Trump said. “Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death.”

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