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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis prays for victims of hospital fire in Iraq

Pope Francis has communicated his closeness to victims of the fire that broke out in the Covid isolation ward of the al-Hussein hospital in Nasiriya, Iraq, on July 12.

In a letter to the Apostolic Nuncio in Iraq, the Pope says he is praying especially “for those who have died and for the comfort of their families and friends.”

More than 60 people were killed and more than 60 injured in the fire, which started after an oxygen tank exploded in the hospital. Angry demonstrators outside the hospital blame the government for neglecting Iraqi citizens.

Iraq's healthcare system, which was already struggling from years of war and corruption, has been heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic.