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» 05/10/2011
LIBYA
Bishop of Tripoli: Libyans are fleeing the war. Hundreds of thousands of refugees
Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli warns the population is afraid and wants to escape. The call for an immediate ceasefire and the opening of negotiations. Today, meeting between Vatican Secretary of State and the Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini to discuss the situation in North Africa and the Middle East.

Tripoli (AsiaNews) - "The Libyans are afraid, every day thousands of people leave for Egypt and Tunisia, where refugee camps have been set up. Yesterday more than 30 thousand people fled to Tunisia alone”, , Mgr. Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli tells AsiaNews. According to the prelate, after the meeting of the Contact Group for Libya last May 5, the situation has not changed, "people are afraid and want to leave." Since the beginning of Odyssey Dawn over 600 thousand Libyans, who have fled across the borders.

The prelate spoke to AsiaNews only hours after a series of NATO air strikes that have caused incalculable damage. "We still hearthe airplanes passing over the city and dropping bombs in the surrounding areas - says Martinelli - but for the moment there has been no direct bombing in Tripoli." The prelate once again calls on NATO to immediately sign a ceasefire and open negotiations with the Libyan government, before the situation reaches an irreversible point.

Despite the hardships caused by the war - gasoline and food rationing - the life of the small Catholic community in the capital continues. "Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday - says the bishop - many still faithful take part in the services, especially the Philippines and sub-Saharan Africans, who are a great testimony of faith and charity in this difficult time."

Today in the Vatican, Cardinal. Bertone, Holy See Secretary of State, the Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini and other members of the Vatican Secretariat of State, will meet to discuss the crisis in North Africa and the Middle East. (S.C.)

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See also
06/21/2011 LIBYA
Bishop of Tripoli: NATO bombs playing into Gaddafi’s hands
05/06/2011 LIBYA - VATICAN
War against Libya a reckless outrage
by Piero Gheddo
06/09/2011 LIBYA
Mgr Martinelli calls for diplomatic steps, says he is not hiding Gaddafi in church
05/11/2011 LIBYA
Bishop of Tripoli: Bombs on civilians, destroying an entire people to take down Gaddafi
05/02/2011 LIBYA
Tripoli bishop attends funeral of Gaddafi’s relatives, Moscow criticises airstrikes

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ISLAM - MIDDLE EAST
Al Azhar and Vatican against terrorism. The ambiguity of the international community
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TUNISIA - ISLAM
Tunis, stop terrorism by closing fundamentalist mosquesPresident Essebsi believes unified and global strategy needed to counter terrorism. The attack in Sousse almost simultaneous with those in France, Kuwait, Somalia. Islamic State claims responsibility.
VATICAN – ITALY
Pope in Turin tells young people to be chaste in love, go against the flow and not retire at 20In his last meeting on the first day of his visit to Turin, Francis met young people in Vittorio Square. In a Question and Answer exchange, he talked about love, friendship and loss of trust towards life. "I understand you. How many hypocrites speak of peace and sell weapons. How can one trust? By following Christ, whose act of extreme love, i.e. the Cross, saved humanity." The pontiff also looked at the horrors of the 20th century as evidence of the loss of trust towards world powers. He urged young people “not to retire at 20,” but “live, don’t just exist.”

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