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'Senseless Act of Violence': 2 Catholic Nuns Killed in South Sudan After Gunmen Shoots Them During Brutal Attack


Two Catholic nuns were shot and killed Monday along a highway in South Sudan after attending a celebration at a parish in the Eastern Diocese of Torit.

UCA News reported that Sisters Mary Daniel Abud and Regina Roba, who were members of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart in the Archdiocese of Juba, were on board a bus with seven other nuns when the gunmen attacked them.  

The sisters tried to hide in nearby bushes but their attackers found them. 

Sister Abud died while searching for help and Sister Roba's body was later recovered by members of the army. They were both laid to rest Friday. 

Abud served as a headmistress in a school located in Juba and Roba was an administrator of a nurse training school in Wau.

Pope Francis sent his condolences to the victim's families and those who served with the sisters in the faith community. He then described the incident as a "senseless act of violence." 

In a telegram signed by Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin wrote, "Trusting that their sacrifice will advance the cause of peace, reconciliation and security in the region, His Holiness prays for their eternal rest and the comfort of those who grieve their loss."

In a statement, South Sudan's President Salva Kiir Mayardit said the brutal assault was carried out by "Holdout Groups" and that "the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity condemns this act of terror with the strongest terms possible."

"The fact that Sisters Mary Abud and Regina Roba were coming from the celebration of an important milestone of Christianity in our country: the centenary celebration of the Loa Parish did matter to these criminals," Kiir said.

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