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Pope shares image of atomic bomb victims on eve of 2018

Pope Francis prays before a mass at the U.S. World War II cemetery at Nettuno (Getty Images)

Pope Francis has asked for a shocking image of young atomic bomb victims to be distributed on the eve of 2018.

The photograph shows a Japanese boy carrying his dead brother on his back, waiting in line at a crematorium.

The photo was taken by American photographer Joseph Roger O’Donnell after an atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.

Pope Francis has added a brief comment, “The fruit of war”, followed by his signature.

His decision to circulate the image reflects his concern that the world is once again on the verge of nuclear conflict. He has frequently expressed his belief that armed struggles across the globe amount to a “piecemeal” World War III.