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Pope Francis condemns bombardment of Aleppo

Photo taken Sept. 14, 2016, shows the rubble of destroyed buildings in the Bani Zeid district of Syria's Aleppo. (PA)

Pope Francis has decried the assault on the Syrian city of Aleppo, saying those responsible for the bombing must answer to God.

Francis said at his public audience on Wednesday in St Peter’s Square that he’s “united in suffering through prayer and spiritual closeness” to Aleppo’s people. He expressed “deep pain and strong worry for what’s happening,” saying “children and elderly … everyone is dying.”

He called for utmost efforts to protect civilians in Syria’s civil war, raging since 2011. Pope Francis said: “I appeal to the consciences of those responsible for the bombing that they must give a reckoning to God” for their actions.

The Syrian government and its Russian allies have unleashed a major assault on the ancient city.