Pope Francis prays for Barcelona victims

19 Août, 2017, 02:22 | Author: Lucrece Courtet
  • Pope Francis said the fate of abused children weighed on his soul

The first of the two attacks took place at 4.50pm local time (2.50pm United Kingdom time), when a white van ploughed into pedestrians on Las Ramblas, a popular street in central Barcelona filled with tourists.

"Once again, an act of terror has taken more than a dozen lives and injured scores of others", he said, adding that the US bishops' conference "unequivocally condemns this morally heinous act and places itself in solidarity with the people of the Archdiocese of Barcelona and Spain at this awful time of loss and grief".

"After the news of the cruel terrorist attack that has sown La Rambla of Barcelona with death and pain, Pope Francis wishes to express his deepest regret for the victims who have lost their lives in such an inhuman act, while offering his prayers for their eternal rest", reads the telegram sent from the Vatican Friday. In the end, the man killed 14 people and injured dozens more in his rampage.

Hours later, an Audi A3 drove into people in Cambrils, a popular seaside town located 68 miles south-west of Barcelona, where six people were injured, one critically, as well as a police officer. Local media reported that the driver fled on foot, and police are searching for the suspect.

Some appeared to be wearing suicide belts and controlled explosions were carried out, however authorities later reported that the belts were fake.

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Thursday also saw a vehicle driven into officers at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Barcelona, with a dead man later found inside the auto.

The incident is not believed to be connected to Thursday's events, however an incident on Wednesday night, which saw an explosion destroy a house in Alcanar, south of Barcelona kill one person and wound seven, is thought to be linked to the attacks on Thursday.

Bishop Jose Gil Tamayo, secretary general of the Spanish Bishops Conference, also released a statement, saying on Twitter, "We follow with concern and prayers the situation of victims of the mass trampling in Las Ramblas".

Since the 2013 election of Pope Francis amid high hopes, his efforts and rhetoric against abuse have been strongly criticised by victims and campaigners, and a Vatican commission formed in 2014 to advise him on rooting it out has been hit by internal dissent.

In closing, the Pope also invoked God's blessing on all the victims, their families, and the "beloved Spanish city" of Barcelona.

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