VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict on Monday urged the international community to end what he called the endless slaughter in Syria before the entire country became a "a field of ruins."
He made the appeal in particularly strong terms during a yearly "state of the world" address to diplomats accredited to the Vatican.
He said Syria, where the United Nations estimates that 60,000 people have been killed, was "torn apart by endless slaughter and (is) the scene of dreadful suffering among its civilian population."
He called for an "end to a conflict which will know no victors but only vanquished if it continues, leaving behind it nothing but a field of ruins."
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