John Paul II Condemns Attacks in Iraq

Suicide Bomber Hits Italian Military Base

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 12, 2003 ( John Paul II condemned the attacks occurring in Iraq, including today’s suicide bombing at an Italian paramilitary base in Nassiriya.

“I express the firmest condemnation of this new act of violence which, added to other ferocious gestures that have taken place in that tormented country, does not help its pacification and resurgence,” the Pope said.

At least 26 were reported killed, including 18 Italians, in the attack. The Vatican press office made public the papal telegram addressed to Italian President Carlo Ciampi.

“In raising my fervent prayer for the victims, I ask the Lord for Christian consolation for the relatives of those to whom I feel particularly close to at this time of great sadness,” the papal message stated.

The Pope asked the president to convey his feeling of solidarity to “the military men and civilians engaged in the arduous task of service to that population that has suffered so much.”

In separate attacks, an American soldier was killed when a roadside bomb exploded near the town of Taji, northwest of Baghdad, the U.S. military said. A soldier died of wounds suffered in a roadside bombing in Baghdad on Tuesday, the military added.

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