The Vatican (Monday, November 22, 2015, Gaudium Press) Pope Francis condemned the “senseless violence” of Friday’s terrorist attack on a hotel which killed at least 22 people in Mali, and prayed for the “conversion of hearts.”
The Pope was “appalled by this senseless violence,” and “strongly condemns it,” reads the telegram, signed by Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, according to Vatican Radio’s translation from French.
“The Pope implores God for the conversion of hearts and the gift of peace, and invokes abundance of Divine blessings on all those affected by this tragedy.”
The Nov. 20 attack saw gunmen enter the Radisson Blu Hotel in the Malian capital of Bamako.
22 people were killed in the attack, according to a statement Sunday by the UN’s Mali mission.
CNN reports that witnesses say the terrorists shouted “Allahu akbar,” Arabic for “God is Great.”
Two attackers are dead, but it is unclear if they were killed by security forces or by suicide bombs, CNN reports.
“Pope Francis unites himself in prayer to the pain of bereaved families and the sadness of all Malians,” reads the telegram, which was released by the Holy See Press Office Nov. 22.
The Pope “recommends all the victims to the mercy of God, praying that the Almighty welcome them into His light. He expresses his deepest sympathy with the injured and their families, asking the Lord to bring them comfort and consolation in their ordeal.”
The attacks in Mali came just one week after 137 people, including seven perpetrators, were killed in widespread terrorist attacks in the center of Paris.