Pope Francis on Tuesday deplored the deadly terrorist attack on the Manchester Arena which was claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group, calling the bombing a "barbaric" and "senseless act of violence".
"His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the injury and tragic loss of life caused by the barbaric attack in Manchester," read a telegram sent by the Vatican's second-in-command, secretary of state Pietro Parolin.
"He expresses his heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this senseless act of violence," the telegram continued.
At least 22 people were killed when a lone attacker detonated a homemade bomb inside the foyer at the Manchester Arena at 22.35 on Monday after a concert by US singer Ariana Grande had ended.
Francis was praying for the victims and their families, "mindful in a particular way of those children and young people who have lost their lives, and of their grieving families," the telegram said.
Monday's attack, the worst in Britain since the 7 July 2005 London bombings, has drawn condemnation from western and Muslim nations alike.