· Terrorist attack in Brussels kills 35 and wounds more than 150 ·
Pope Francis condemns blind violence which causes so much suffering
Brussels, 22. The heart of Europe is under terrorist attack. Brussels, a symbol of the European Union, was struck by several terrorist attacks this morning. At 8 am two large explosions destroyed a section of Zaventem airport, killing 15 people and wounding 136. Nearly one hour later, there was a third explosion at the Maalbeek metro station in the city's centre which killed 20 and wounded 55. The so-called Islamic State has claimed responsibility and is threatening more attacks. Security has been stepped up around the world and all of Europe is on maximum alert.
On learning of the violence, Pope Francis expressed his sadness and closeness to families of the victims in a telegram signed by Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and addressed to Archbishop
Josef De Kesel of Mechelen-Brussels. The Pope “again condemns the blind violence which causes so much suffering and, asking God for the gift of peace, he entrusts the bereaved families and the Belgians with the goodness of divine blessings”. The bishops also expressed their solidarity for the victims of the violence.
Belgian Federal Prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw is calling all three explosions “terrorist attacks”. And Premier Charles Michel has called for Belgians to remain calm and united, however, he stated that the country is still on high alert. “It's a very sad day for Europe”, said Federica Mogherini, High Representative of Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, from Amman, Jordan. “Terrorists struck Brussels but it was Europe that was targeted”, French President François Hollande declared.
St. Peter’s Square
Feb. 20, 2019
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