Pope Benedict responds to terrorist attacks in India

.- Late on Wednesday evening, gunmen overtook eight different locations in Mumbai, India and went on a rampage of killing. Pope Benedict XVI has sent a telegram to the Archbishop of Bombay asking him to convey his heartfelt condolences to the families of those affected and to assure the victims of his prayers.

Mayhem struck the Oberoi-Trident and the Taj Mahal Palace hotels on Wednesday evening when terrorists stormed the two locations and began shooting.

The attacks were not limited to the two hotels.

In addition, bands of masked gunmen armed with assault rifles, hand grenades and explosives attacked a popular café packed with tourists; the historic Metro Cinema; a crowded train station; the Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish center and a hospital.

Some freed victims of the attacks told the BBC that the terrorists were seeking out people who were U.S. or U.K. citizens.

Thus far, 101 people have been killed and 300 injured.

Upon receiving news of the attacks, Pope Benedict sent a telegram to Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the archbishop of Bombay, saying that he is "deeply concerned about the outbreak of violence in Mumbai” and asking the cardinal to “convey his heartfelt condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives in these brutal attacks.” The Pope also expressed his spiritual closeness to the victims.

Benedict XVI also urgently appealed for “an end to all acts of terrorism,” which he said “gravely offend the human family and severely destabilize the peace and solidarity needed to build a civilization worthy of mankind's noble vocation to love God and neighbor.”

The Holy Father’s message closes with him offering his prayers for the repose of the souls of the victims and imploring “God's gift of strength and comfort for those who are injured and in mourning."

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