pope francis1Arms producers and traffickers lie behind the deadly assault on Brussels, Pope Francis said, describing the attacks as an “act of war”.

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“Three days ago an act of war and destruction took place in a European city,” Francis said as he celebrated mass with asylum-seekers at a refugee centre in Castelnuovo di Porto, north of Rome, Thursday.

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“But, as in the case of Judas, where there were others who handed over money for Jesus to be betrayed, behind that act (the Brussels attacks) there are arms manufacturers and traffickers,” the pontiff said.

Francis contrasted the Brussels suicide bombings with the Easter mass being held at Castelnuovo di Porto “where men and women of different faiths recognise their common humanity and wish to live in peace”.

The Islamic State jihadist group claimed Tuesday’s suicide blasts at Brussels international airport and a city metro station in which over 30 people were killed. The attacks drew global condemnation.

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