Pope calls Pakistan church attack act of hate, war

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Pope Francis. AP FILE PHOTO

CAGLIARI, Sardinia – Pope Francis has led several thousand people in a special prayer for the victims of the church attack in Pakistan.

Francis was wrapping up a daylong visit to Sardinia on Sunday when he took the microphone and told throngs of young people about the scale of the attack in Peshawar. He said those who carried out the attack “took the wrong choice, one of hatred and war.”

He urged the young Sardinians present to instead work for peace — a message he has repeated in recent weeks amid escalating tensions in Syria.

Sunday’s suicide bombing outside the historic All Saints church killed dozens in the deadliest-ever attack on Pakistan’s Christian minority, officials said.

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