- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 14, 2015

Pope Francis lamented a string of deadly terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday night, calling them a “piece” of a “piecemeal World War III.”

“I am close to the people of France, to the families of the victims, and I am praying for all of them,” the pontiff said Saturday, according to the Vatican Radio. “I am moved, and I am saddened. I do not understand — these things hard to understand.”

The pope made the comments during a visit to Italy’s largest military cemetery, where he was commemorating the centenary of World War I.

“War is madness,” the pope said at a memorial to 100,000 Italian soldiers at Redipuglia cemetery near Slovenia, BBC News reported.

“Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction,” he said.

He called the attacks “inhumane” saying, “There is no religious or human justification” for the violence.

French President Francoise Hollande on Saturday blamed the Islamic State terrorist group for the attacks that left 127 dead and scores injured.

He called the wave of bombing and shooting attacks in and around Paris an “act of war committed by a terrorist arm, the Islamic State group, a jihadist army, against France, against the values that we defend everywhere in the world, against what we are: A free country that means something to the whole planet.”

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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