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Pope expresses 'deep sorrow' over Angola stampede deaths

world Updated: Mar 22, 2009 15:42 IST

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Pope Benedict XVI expressed his "deep sorrow" on Sunday at the deaths of two young people in a stampede at the entrance to a stadium where he held a rally the night before.

"I would like to include in this Eucharist a special message for the two young people who lost their lives - two young girls. I entrust them to Jesus, so that he welcomes them into his kingdom," the pope said at the start of an open-air mass on the outskirts of Luanda.

"I offer my sympathies to their families and friends, and my deep sorrow, because they were coming to meet them. I pray for the wounded," he added.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said two young girls were killed and 40 injured in the stampede on Saturday, as 30,000 Angolan youth gathered to hear the pope speak.