Syria: Pope saddened by massacre, calls for talks
last update: May 29, 14:58
Vatican City, 29 May (AKI) - Pope Benedict XVI was saddened by a Syrian massacre that left more than 100 people dead last week and called for talks to end the violence that has killed thousands, the Vatican said.
"The recent massacre in the Syrian town of Houla in which around one hundred people, including numerous children, lost their lives, is a motive of great sorrow and concern for the Holy Father and the entire Catholic community, as it is for the international community which has expressed unanimous condemnation of the incident," Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said in a statement on Tuesday.
The United Nations human rights office on Tuesday said 100 people Houla were mostly shot dead at close range, some of them women and children killed in their homes.
At least 108 people, including 34 women and 49 children, were killed in an attack that began on Friday and continued through the night, the UN said.
International envoy Kofi Annan met with Syrian president Bashar Assad.
"The Holy See exhorts the parties involved and the entire international community to spare no efforts to resolve this crisis through dialogue and reconciliation," the Vatican's Lombardi said. "Likewise, leaders and believers of the various religions, through prayer and mutual collaboration, are called to commit themselves to promoting the peace which is so much sought after, for the good of the whole population".
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