- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 1, 2019

Pope Francis on Sunday called out the violent clashes between police and anti-government protesters in Iraq that have caused over 400 deaths since October.

In his weekly Sunday message, Pope Francis said “it is with pain that I have learned of the protest demonstrations of the past days that were met with a harsh response, causing tens of victims.”

Iraq’s police response to the anti-government protests that began nearly two months ago has drawn criticism from global leaders who have condemned the use of live ammunition, tear gas and stun guns against the often peaceful demonstrators.


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Just one day prior to the pope’s comments, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi formally submitted his resignation to parliament amid mounting pressure from the protesters who have called for sweeping government reforms.

The pope told a crowd of tens of thousands in St. Peter’s Square that he is praying for those who have been killed and injured and for peace in the country.



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