Pope Francis condemns ‘vile’ attack against Iraqi prime minister

In a message signed by Card Parolin, the pontiff expresses “his prayerful closeness" to al-Kadhimi and the wounded. He also reiterated his solidarity to the country's government so that it may pursue "the path of peace". Meanwhile, Iraqi security forces arrested three people in connection with the attack, members of an armed Shia faction.

Baghdad (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis sent a message to Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi after the attack on 7 November that targeted the home of Iraq’s head of government

Signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, the statement reads: “Following the attack on your residence in Baghdad, his Holiness Pope Francis wishes me to convey his prayerful closeness to you and your family, and to those injured.”

Francis goes on to reiterate his solidarity and closeness towards Iraq and its government, strengthened by past meetings and by his historic official visit to the Arab country last March.

“In condemning this vile act of terrorism, his holiness once more expresses his confidence that with the blessing of the most high God the people of Iraq will be confirmed in wisdom and strength in pursuing the path of peace through dialogue and fraternal solidarity.”

Such words, which cannot be taken for granted, confirm, once more, the closeness of the Holy See and the Pope to the steps taken by the Iraqi government and the prime minister towards fraternal reconciliation after years of political, ethnic and sectarian violence.

The Chaldean patriarch himself, Card Louis Raphael Sako, insisted on the same point to AsiaNews yesterday. In his view, the attack sought to block plans for a strong Iraq “based on the law, citizenship, order and justice”.

Meanwhile, Iraqi security forces arrested three people in connection with the assassination attempt against Prime Minister al-Kadhimi, Russia Today reported, citing a government official.

However, the latter did not provide further details about the identities of those arrested or their role in the attack, which left several bodyguards wounded.

Some unconfirmed reports claim that the three people arrested belong to an armed Shia faction close to Iran. Previously, the prime minister himself said that he knew who was behind the attack.