Papal Message of Condolence Sent to Algeria Following Air Tragedy

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 7, 2003 ( John Paul II sent a message of sympathy to Algeria’s civil and religious authorities and particularly to the families of the victims of the air accident in Tamanrasset.

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On behalf of the Pope, the telegram was sent to Archbishop Augustine Kasujja, apostolic nuncio in Algeria, by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state.

The message stated that the Pope «entrusts to the mercy of the All Powerful all those who lost their lives in this drama, that they may rest in peace.»

«The Pope expresses his great sympathy to the families of the numerous victims as well as to the person wounded in this tragic accident, and he asks the Most High to fill them with His blessings, so that they might find themselves surrounded by comfort and solidarity in this grievous trial,» the message adds.

The death toll stood at 102 in the Air Algerie accident Thursday afternoon. A military man was seriously injured.

The Boeing 737 crashed just after takeoff from the airport of Tamanrasset.

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