GRAND-BASSAM MARCH 15, 2016 (CISA) – Pope Francis on March 14, sent a message of condolence to the citizens of Ivory Coast following the Sunday March 13, shooting at the Grand-Bassam beach resort that claimed 18 lives.
“Upon hearing the news of the heinous attack in Grand-Bassam, His Holiness the Pope Francis presents condolences to the bereaved and assures the injured his spiritual closeness,” said the Pope’s message in a telegram to Bishop Raymond Ahoua of Grand- Bassam.
Gunmen stormed three hotels in the beach resort city of Grand- Bassam, a town in South Eastern Ivory Coast which is about 40 kilometers from the main capital, Abidjan.
Among the dead, were three soldiers and 15 civilians.
“In the face of these acts, the united Ivorian people will not be intimidated. Our people are a great people. A people that have faith in the future and who have demonstrated on many occasions their capacity to overcome the crises, their strength and their union in the face of adversity,” said Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Outarra in his address to the nation after the attack.
According to the telegram, Pope Francis entrusts the victims to the mercy of God to welcome them into his peace and light.
“The Holy Father again condemns violence and hatred in all forms,” continued the telegram message. “In a sign of consolation, he invokes an abundance of divine blessings on the Ivory Coast and all the families affected by this tragedy.”