Sri Lankan army officers stand guard in entrance of the St. Anthony’s Shrine, Kochchikade church after an explosion in Colombo, Sri Lanka April 21, 2019. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis on Sunday condemned assaults that killed no less than 138 individuals in three church buildings and 4 accommodations in Sri Lanka as “such merciless violence” and mentioned he was near the Christian group, hit whereas celebrating Easter.

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The blasts, which hospital and police officers mentioned wounded greater than 400 individuals, adopted a lull in main assaults because the finish of the civil battle 10 years in the past.

“I realized with disappointment and ache of the information of the grave assaults, that exactly right now, Easter, introduced mourning and ache to church buildings and different locations the place individuals had been gathered in Sri Lanka,” Pope Francis instructed tens of hundreds of individuals in St. Peter’s Sq. to listen to his Easter Sunday “Urbi et Orbi” (to the town and the world) message.

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“I want to categorical my affectionate closeness to the Christian group, hit whereas it was gathered in prayer, and to all of the victims of such merciless violence,” mentioned Francis, who visited Sri Lanka in 2015.

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“I entrust to the Lord those that have tragically died and I pray for the wounded and for all those that are struggling because of this dramatic occasion,” he mentioned.

Reporting by Philip Pullella; Modifying by Mark Potter

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