Pope Francis uses Easter message to condemn 'vile' Syria attack

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media captionPope Francis prayed for those trying to bring comfort and relief to civilians in Syria

Pope Francis has used his Easter address to condemn Saturday's deadly attack on a bus convoy in Syria.

The Pope delivered his "Urbi et Orbi" ("To the City and the World") message to thousands of pilgrims who gathered in St Peter's Square at the Vatican.

Francis said the bombing, which killed more than 100 people near the city of Aleppo, was "the latest vile attack on fleeing refugees".

He also spoke against "old and new" forms of slavery and discrimination.

"May [God] sustain the efforts of those who are actively working to bring comfort and relief to the civilian population in beloved Syria, who are greatly suffering from a war that does not cease to sow horror and death," he said.

In the latest attack, a vehicle filled with explosives targeted buses carrying evacuees from besieged, government-held Syrian towns.

At an earlier vigil, Francis spoke of migrants' pain, and criticised "paralysing and barren bureaucracies that stand in the way of change".

Easter was also marked in Coptic churches in Egypt, where attacks a week ago, claimed by Islamic State militants, killed at least 45 people.

image source, EPA
image captionThe Pope called for peace in Yemen and Ukraine
image source, AFP
image captionHe also drew attention to "continuing hostilities" in South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo
image captionLike many spectators, BBC Rome correspondent James Reynolds was far from the basilica
image source, AFP
image captionEgyptian Copts took part in an Easter Mass in Cairo on Saturday led by Pope Tawadros II

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