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Pope offers prayers for victims of Baghdad and Dhaka attacks

Mourners carry coffins of bomb victims, Talib Hassan, 35, and Hamza Jabbar, 37, killed in Sunday's bombing in Baghdad (AP) Photo/Anmar Khalil)

Pope Francis has prayed for victims of terrorist attacks in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Baghdad, Iraq.

A cafe in Dhaka was attacked on Friday, leading to a 12-hour siege which left 28 people dead, including 20 hostages. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, however, a Bangladeshi official said the jihadists were members of a homegrown militant group.

ISIS also claimed responsibility for the attack on the Karrada district of Baghdad in the early hours of Sunday which claimed the lives of at least 200 people and injured 225 more. A lorry loaded with explosives detonated near a shopping centre crowded with people preparing to celebrate the end of Ramadan.

“I offer my closeness to the families of all the people killed and wounded in the attack that took place [early Saturday morning] in Dhaka, and in that, which took place [Saturday] in Baghdad,” said Pope Francis.

Pope Francis was speaking to the faithful gathered in St Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus prayer

“Let us pray together, let us pray together for them – for all the dead – and let us ask the Lord to convert the hearts of all those blinded by hatred.”