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Pope Francis calls for an end to Ukraine hostilities

Ukrainians carry a coffin bearing the body of Olga Abdurashitiva, 27, who was killed during Saturday's Mariupol attack

During his weekly Angelus address, Pope Francis has expressed his “deep concern” at the escalating violence in the Ukraine.

Addressing crowds in St Peter’s Square from the window of the Apostolic Palace on Sunday, the Pope said: “With deep concern, I am following the worsening of clashes in eastern Ukraine, which continues to cause many victims among the civilian population.”

He added: “As I assure you of my prayers for all who suffer, I renew a heartfelt appeal for a resumption in dialogue and an end to all hostilities.”

The Pontiff’s comments come after the killing of at least 30 people by rocket fire in Mariupol, Ukraine, in two separate attacks that were reportedly launched by pro-Russia rebels on Saturday.

According to the Guardian, the local mayor’s office said 97 people were also wounded in the attacks, which struck a crowded residential district.