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Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing upon arrival in the Pope Paul VI hall at the Vatican to hold a pre-trip prayer service for the Catholic faithful, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011. The pontiff has invited Jews, Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims to a pilgrimmage to the Umbrian hilltop town of Assisi, central Italy, where 25 years ago Pope John Paul II, the Dalai Lama and others spent the day praying for peace amid the Cold War. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Benedict XVI says he's praying for the victims of recent flooding in Thailand and Italy.
Benedict began his greetings to pilgrims in St. Peter's Square on Sunday by recalling the devastation caused by heavy rains in the
two countries. Thailand's worst flooding in half a century has claimed 381 lives over the last three months. In Italy, floods and mudslides last week devastated coastal areas and killed nine people.
The pope says he wants to express his closeness to people suffering from the floods and assure them of his prayers.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)