Pope prays for migrants killed in Libyan detention camp

Source: Vatican Media

Addressing pilgrims in St Peter's Square for the Angelus on Sunday, Pope Francis invited them join him in prayer for the "poor, unarmed people who were killed or injured by an air strike on a detention centre for migrants in Libya."

The Libyan government blame the air strike on forces loyal to a warlord, General Khalifa Haftar. General Haftar's forces accuse the government of shelling the centre.

A UN report said that at least 60 people were killed in the strike, including six children, and that 130 others were injured. It also said "there are reports that following the first impact, some refugees and migrants were fired upon by guards as they tried to escape."

Pope Francis said: "The international community must not tolerate such serious events." He then went on to express his hope that "humanitarian corridors may be opened in an organised and concerted manner for the migrants who are most in need."

Finally, the Pope said he wished to remember "all the victims of the recent massacres in Afghanistan, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger," and before saying goodbye to the faithful he had a special greeting for the Eritrean community in Rome to whom he said: "I pray for your people!"

Libya is a key departure point for migrants and refugees trying to reach Italy by boat, but many get picked up by the Libyan coastguard, - an action supported by the European Union.

Thousands are now being held in the government-run detention centres in what human rights groups say are inhuman conditions.

Tags: Libya, Pope Francis, Detention Camp

We Need Your Support

ICN aims to provide speedy and accurate news coverage of all subjects of interest to Catholics and the wider Christian community. As our audience increases - so do our costs. We need your help to continue this work.

Please support our journalism by donating today.