Pope mourns Bhutto's death, prays for end of violence in Pakistan

Pope Benedict XVI on Friday condemned the assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto as a "brutal terrorist attack" and prayed that further violence would be avoided following her death. "The Holy Father expresses sentiments of deep sympathy and spiritual closeness to the members of her family and to the entire Pakistani nation," the Vatican's No. 2, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said in a telegram of condolence sent to the head of Pakistan's Catholic bishops' conference. The pope "prays that further violence will be avoided and that every effort will be made to build a climate of respect and trust, which are so necessary if good order is to be maintained in society and if the country's political institutions are to operate effectively," the telegram said.