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Pope urges help for quake victims in Iran

John Paul II has made an appeal for international aid for the victims of Saturday's deadly earthquake in northern Iran.

"I encourage the work of the rescuers and I hope for a rapid and generous show of international solidarity to address this serious situation," the Pope said on Sunday, after praying the Angelus with pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.

The Holy Father promised his prayers "for the victims, their relatives and all those who are suffering the tragic consequences of this earthquake."

On Saturday, John Paul II expressed his sympathy to the victims' relatives and to all the peoples affected, in a telegram sent to Archbishop Giovanni Gaspari, the apostolic nuncio in Tehran.

The death toll stood at 220, fewer than first feared, the Associated Press reported. About 1000 people were injured, and thousands more left homeless. The epicenter of the magnitude-6 quake was in the province of Qazvin, about 208km west of Tehran.

Last Bodies Pulled From Iran Rubble (AP)


25 Jun 2002