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Pope Francis prays for victims of Baghdad market bombing

Pope Francis is praying for victims of the bombing in the al-Wuhailat market in Baghdad that killed at least 30 people.

The explosives were detonated as the Muslim community prepared for the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha on Tuesday.

The Islamic State group claimed it was responsible for the attack, which was the deadliest bombing in Baghdad in six months.

In a letter to the apostolic nuncio in Iraq, Vatican Secretary of State Card. Pietro Parolin says that Pope Francis “was deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life in the explosion” and that “he sends condolences to the families and friends of those who have died.” 

The Pope also prays “that no act of violence will diminish the efforts of those who strive to promote reconciliation and peace in Iraq,” a country he visited in March this year.