Sri Lanka explosions: Pope denounces attacks during Easter blessing

Sri Lanka explosions: Pope denounces attacks during Easter blessing

Pope Francis holds a candle as he presides over a solemn Easter vigil ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Saturday, April 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis denounced the violent attacks in Sri Lanka at the end of his traditional Easter Sunday blessing.

"I want to express my affectionate closeness to the Christian community, struck while it was gathered in prayer, and all the victims of such cruel violence," Francis said, speaking from the loggia of St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican News reported. "I entrust to the Lord all those who were tragically killed and pray for the injured and all those who are suffering as a result of this dramatic event."

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Explosions hit multiple churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing more than 200 people and injuring hundreds more.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.