Pope says Pakistan attack 'hideous,' urges for security

Pope Francis calls Pakistan attack 'hideous' while he urges authorities to protect religious minorities

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Pope Francis speaks as he leads the Angelus prayer in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican March 28, 2016.

Pope Francis condemned the suicide bomb attack that killed at least 70 people in Pakistan, addressing the act as “hideous” and demanded that Pakistani authorities protect religious minorities.

The suicide attack happened during an Easter celebration, where many Christians were among the victims.

Taliban faction Jamaat-ul-Ahrar took responsibility over the attack, stating the target of the attack was Christians.

The pope spoke at St. Peter's Square on Easter Monday, where thousands of people gathered, he said that Pakistan was "bloodied by a hideous attack that massacred so many innocent people, mostly families of the Christian minority."

In his speech from the Vatican's Apostolic Palace, the pope called the attack "a vile and senseless crime."

"I appeal to civil authorities and all sectors of that nation to make every effort to restore security and serenity to the population, and in particular to the most vulnerable religious minorities," he said.

In Sunday’s attack, more than 70 people died, near a children’s play area where many believe were there to celebrate Easter.

Pakistan has a Christian population of more than 2 million.

TRTWorld and agencies