Pope Francis sent his prayers and condolences to the victims of a terrorist attack in a Mali hotel on Friday morning that left 19 people dead.
A terrorist organization affiliated with al-Qaeda operating in the West African country claimed responsibility for the attack at the Radisson Blu Hotel in the nation’s capital.
The attack occurred on the eve of peace talks between the Malian government and a coalition of northern Mali separatists.
In a telegram to the archbishop of Bamako, the Pope’s secretary of state says that Francis “implores God for the conversion of hearts and the gift of peace.”
Here is a translation of the message, sent to the Archbishop of the Capital of Mali, by the Pope’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.
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His Excellency Monsignor Jean Zerbo
Archbishop of Bamako
On learning of the tragic attack that occurred at Bamako, His Holiness Pope Francis associates himself through prayer to the sorrow of the mourning families and to the sadness of Malians. He entrusts all the victims to the mercy of God, praying that He will receive them in His light. He expresses his profound sympathy to the wounded persons and to their families, asking the Lord to comfort and console them in their trial. Consternated by this blind violence, which he firmly condemns, the Holy Father implores God for the conversion of hearts and the gift of peace, and he invokes an abundance of divine blessings on all those persons touched by this tragedy.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State of His Holiness[Original text: French] [Translation by ZENIT]