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Pope Francis, Indonesian leader condemn Palm Sunday bombing

Pope Francis called for prayers for the victims of a bomb explosion that wounded at least 19 people at a Catholic church in Indonesia on March 28.

“Let us pray for all the victims of violence, especially those of this morning’s attack in Indonesia, in front of the Cathedral of Makassar,” the pope said at the end of his Sunday Angelus in the Vatican.

The pope was speaking just hours after the explosion outside the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral in Makassar, capital of South Sulawesi province.

Two suicide bombers believed to be members of an Islamist militant group are understood to behind the attack. They were the only fatalities in the attack.

Father Wilhelmus Tulak, who celebrated the Mass, said the explosion occurred about 10.30 am when the Mass was about to finish.

Makassar is the fifth-largest urban center in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation.

About 10 percent of the Southeast Asian country’s more than 270 million population is Christian. There are an estimated eight million Indonesian Catholics.

The country’s President Joko Widodo condemned the bomb attack and prayed for the swift recovery for those injured.

“I strongly condemn these acts of terrorism,” Widodo said in a statement.

“I have ordered the police chief to thoroughly investigate the perpetrators’ networks and uncover the networks to their roots,” said the president.

“I invite all members of society to jointly fight terrorism and radicalism, which are against our religious values and noble values as a nation that upholds divine values and upholds the values of diversity,” he added. - LiCAS.news

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