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Pope Francis offers prayers for Russian plane crash victims

Officials inspect the wreckage of the passenger jet which came down on Saturday in Sinai (AP)

The Vatican says Pope Francis is offering “the assurance of his prayers” for those who died in the Russian plane crash in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

It said in a statement on Sunday that Francis “learned with sadness about the tragic crash” and in a telegram conveyed his condolences to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian people.

Francis is also praying for those mourning the loss of their loved ones.

The Metrojet charter flight crashed on Saturday 23 minutes after it took off from Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, killing all 224 people on board.