April 22, 2019 / 10:36 AM / 2 months ago

Pope condemns Sri Lanka attacks as unjustifiable 'terrorist acts'

Pope Francis greets faithful after reading his "Urbi et Orbi" ("To the City and the World") message from the balcony overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 21, 2019. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis on Monday deplored the attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka that killed nearly 300 people and called for universal condemnation of what he said were “terrorist acts, inhuman acts” that could never be justified.

It was the second day in a row that the pope condemned the attacks, which hit many Catholics on Easter Sunday, the most important Christian feast day.

Speaking to tens of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square on Easter Monday, a holiday in Italy, he said he was close to the Catholics of Sri Lanka and was praying for all of the many dead and wounded.

“I ask everyone not to hesitate to offer this dear nation all the help necessary. I hope that everyone condemns these terrorist acts, inhuman acts, never justifiable,” he said before leading the crowd in prayer for the victims.

No group has claimed responsibility for the explosions, many of them suicide bombings, which killed 290 people and wounded 500 others - the deadliest attack in the island nation since the end of a civil war in 2009.

Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Gareth Jones

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