Pope Francis decries deadly attacks in Norway, Afghanistan, UK

Pope Francis delivers the Sunday Angelus prayer from the window of his study overlooking St Peter’s Square at the Vatican on Aug 15, 2021. — AFP photo

VATICAN CITY (Oct 18): Pope Francis on Sunday decried the recent deadly attacks in Norway, Afghanistan and Britain and called for “abandoning the path of violence” during his traditional Sunday address to believers from the window of the Apostolic Palace in Vatican.

“Last week, various attacks took place in Norway, Afghanistan, England, that caused numerous deaths and wounded many. I express my nearness to the families of the victims. I beg you to please abandon the path of violence that is always a losing cause and is a defeat for everyone. Let us recall that violence begets violence,” the pontiff said, as quoted by the Holy See.

On Wednesday evening, a man shot arrows at people in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg, killing five and wounding several more. The suspect was soon arrested by the police and was identified as a 37-year-old Dane living locally, who had previously converted to Islam. The Norwegian police later said that the perpetrator, Espen Andersen Braathen, was suffering from a mental illness that apparently drove him to attack people. He admitted to his crimes and is willing to cooperate with the investigation.

Another attack took place in Afghanistan on Friday when a bombing hit a Shia mosque in the city of Kandahar. Three suicide bombers set off the blast, while the fourth attacker opened fire at the mosque building. The explosion has killed 63 people and injured 83 others, a source in a local hospital told Sputnik. The Daesh (ISIS) terror group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

On the same day, UK Conservative lawmaker David Amess was stabbed to death in an attack that is being treated as a terrorist incident by police. The 69-year-old died while at his constituency surgery in the Belfairs Methodist Church in the town of Leigh-on-Sea in Essex. Following the attack, the Essex Police said a 25-year-old UK citizen was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder. – Bernama

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