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Massacre in Kabul

· Pope Francis’ condolences after deadly attack ·

At least 90 are dead and over 380 injured, according to current estimates, after a suicide bombingin Kabul during rush hour on Wednesday morning, 21 May. As children were on their way to school the explosion rang out in the diplomatic neighbourhood of Afghanistan’s capital, extensively damaging the Embassies of Germany, France, India, Iran, Japan and Egypt, leaving the streets strewn with bodies, blood and remains.

Pope Francis’ condolences and solidarity with the victims and all the Afgan people were expressed in a telegram signed by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, and sent to the Embassy of Afghanistan in Italy. “Having learned with sadness of the abhorrent attack in Kabul and of the many dead and seriously injured, Pope Francis expresses his heartfelt condolences to all affected by this brutal act of violence”, the telegram reads. The Pontiff “commends the souls of the deceased to the mercy of the Almighty, and assures the people of Afghanistan of his continued prayers for peace”.

A spokesperson for the country’s Ministry of the Interior, Najib Danish, explained that either a water or human waste tanker was used in the bombing. Political analysts describe the attack as a sinister sign of the deteriorating state of security in the country as the armed forces struggle to keep the situation under control. The last attack in Kabul took place on 3 May, when a powerful explosion struck a convoy of NATO vehicles, killing eight people.

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