VATICAN CITY, ROME - Pope Francis condemned militant Islamist violence as "homicidal madness" on Monday and said leaders should improve social conditions that serve as fertile ground for fundamentalism and radicalization.
Before diplomats from more than 180 countries, he also forcefully restated a call to ban nuclear weapons, saying experiments by North Korea to build long-range missiles risked setting off a new nuclear arms race.Francis, delivering the annual papal "state of the world" address, also spoke of the need to defend European unification and for greater unity in facing climate change.
The Argentine-born pontiff, 80, reserved his toughest words of condemnation for the wave of "fundamentalist-inspired terrorism" in 2016, listing attacks by Islamist militants in Europe, Africa, Asia and the United States.
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