Pope Assures Prayer for Victims of German Stampede

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CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, JULY 25, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is assuring his sorrow over a tragedy Saturday in his native Germany where 19 people were killed at a techno music festival that erupted into a panicked stampede.

After praying the midday Angelus today, the Pope mentioned the tragedy that beset the traditional «Love Parade,» which was held this year in Duisburg.

Some 19 people were killed and 340 injured when the thousands of participants panicked for an unknown reason, and attempted to leave the area through a narrow tunnel that accessed the site.

Nearly 1.5 million people were reported to be in attendance at the event, which has been held annually in various cities since its beginning in Berlin in 1989.

In greetings in Italian and German at the conclusion of the Angelus, the Pontiff commended the dead and injured and their families to God in prayer.

«I learned with sadness of the tragedy that occurred in Duisburg, Germany, where many young people were killed,» he said in Italian. And in German: «I ask the comfort and nearness of the Holy Spirit for their relatives and friends who are grieving and for those who were injured.»

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