Syria: Aleppo church hit by grenade during mass

Bishop vicar, 'massacre risked'

26 October, 14:37

    (ANSAmed) - VATICAN CITY, OCTOBER 26 - A mortar shell last night hit the Latin church of Aleppo dedicated to Saint Francis, in the Aziziyeh district, while mass was being celebrated in the building. The grenade, coming from areas held by anti-Assad rebels, hit the roof, tearing its dome, but did not penetrate inside the church, exploding outside and injuring seven people, Fides reports. Bishop Georges Abou Khazen, the apostolic vicar of Aleppo, said that ''if the grenade had exploded inside, there would have been a massacre''.

    ''It was around 10 before six in the evening, there were about 400 people in church and the time had come for communion'', he told Fides. ''If the grenade had exploded inside - added the Franciscan bishop - there would have been a massacre. Instead, only seven worshippers were injured, not in a serious way, when rubble fell down and the roof was damaged. We thank the Lord and the Virgin Mary. And our worshippers too, who immediately rushed from their homes to check the damage to the parish church and clean up inside so that today already morning mass was celebrated''. (ANSAmed).

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