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18 Pope Regina May 18

Papal prayers for Balkans flood victims

Pope Francis yesterday led prayers for victims of flooding in Bosnia and Serbia.

Following his Regina Caeli address in St Peter’s Square, the Pope called on the congregation to pray a Hail Mary for the victims.

“As I entrust to the Lord the victims of this calamity, I express my personal closeness to those who living through hours of anguish and tribulation,” said Pope Francis.

The flooding in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina was caused after the River Sava flowing through both countries burst its banks following the most severe rainfall in the Balkans region for over 120 years,

A total of 37 people have been killed according to the most recent reports in both countries, with over 20,000 forced to flee to higher ground after their towns were submerged.

The flood has had an impact outside of the affected region, with hundreds more fleeing Croatia.

The death toll is likely to increase, as authorities fear that landslides caused by the flooding will cause landmines lying dormant from the Bosnian war to be exposed.

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