His Holiness Pope Francis has expressed his grief for the loss of life caused by the sinking of a ferry in the Tigris River near the Iraqi city of Mosul. In a telegramme signed on his behalf by Vatican Secretary of State, His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Pontiff said he is deeply saddened to learn of the accident and expressed his prayerful solidarity with those who mourn. At least 94 people, including many families, died when a ferry overloaded with passengers celebrating the Kurdish New Year and Mother’s Day, capsized in the Tigris River near Mosul.

As reported by Vatican news, In his message, His Holiness Pope Francis said he “commends the deceased to the mercy of the Almighty, and prays for the local authorities and emergency personnel.” The Pontiff concluded invoking the divine blessings of healing, strength and consolation upon the whole Iraqi nation.

Authorities said many of the victims were women and children who could be seen struggling to swim against a strong current as the ferry went down. As people continue to wait for news of loved ones, the death toll from the accident is expected to rise.


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