Pope slams 'blind violence' in Brussels, prays for victims
VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis on Tuesday, March 22, slammed the 'blind violence' of a series of coordinated explosions in Brussels that killed at least 26 people, offering his prayers for the victims.
"Pope Francis entrusts to God's mercy those killed, and shares through prayer the suffering of their relatives," the Vatican's Secretary of State Pietro Parolin said in a telegram to Jozef De Kesel, the archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels.
"The Holy Father once again condemns the blind violence which causes so much suffering and, imploring the gift of peace from God, invokes divine blessings on the bereaved families and the Belgian people," the telegram said.
Francis expressed his "deepest sympathy to the injured and their families, and all those who contribute to relief".
The telegram was sent shortly after two explosions ripped through Brussels airport and a third hit a metro train early on Tuesday, with at least one suicide bomber believed to have been involved, and witnesses describing victims lying in pools of blood with their limbs blown off.
The bloodshed came just four days after the dramatic arrest in Brussels on Friday of Salah Abdeslam – the prime suspect in the Paris terror attacks claimed by the Islamic State (ISIS) group – after four months on the run. – Rappler.com