Pope sympathizes with all Muslims over New Zealand attack

Tehran, March 16, IRNA - Head of the Catholic Church Pope Francis in a message expressed sympathy with New Zealanders especially the Muslim community over the Friday deadly attacks on two mosques.

A message sent by a senior Vatican official on his behalf said that 'Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the injury and loss of life caused by the senseless acts of violence at two Mosques in Christchurch.'

The message also said that the Pope 'assures all New Zealanders, and in particular the Muslim community, of his heartfelt solidarity in the wake of these attacks.'

He also 'prays for the healing of the injured, the consolation of those who grieve the loss of their loved ones, and for all affected by this tragedy.'

According to Italian media 'ANSA', Italy's President Sergio Mattarella said that Christchurch terror attack on two mosques was 'an extremely serious signal of alarm'.

He also referred to the names written on attackers' weapons such as Luca Traini, an Italian extremist who had earlier shot every immigrant in Macerata and also the name of a Canadian who killed Muslims in a mosque.

Meanwhile, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, in a Friday Twitter message offered his condolences to the victims of the sad occasion.

He rejected any form of intolerance, hatred and violence.

At least 49 people have been killed so far, and 50 seriously injured, after gunmen opened fire at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Friday when hundreds of Muslims had gathered to say their prayers.

A group of senior international figures, including Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iranian Parliament speaker Ali Larijani together with the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) have so far condemned the heinous terrorist attacks.

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