(WATCH) Pope Francis: Allow civilians and children trapped in Aleppo to evacuate

Pope launches urgent appeal as heavy bombardment resumes in Syria

VATICAN CITY — After the latest atrocities in Syria, Pope Francis has issued an urgent appeal for an “immediate ceasefire” so that civilians and especially children can be evacuated from “bloody bombings” in the country.

The pope’s latest appeal for Syria came at the end of the general audience in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday.

He said: “I want to emphasize and reiterate my closeness to all the victims of the inhuman conflict in Syria. It is with a sense of urgency that I renew my appeal, imploring the responsible parties with all my strength, to take steps toward an immediate ceasefire, which is imposed and respected at least for the time needed to allow for the evacuation of civilians, especially children, who are still trapped under the bloody bombings.”

In the past 24 hours, Russian planes have resumed heavy air strikes in the city of Aleppo. At least 25 people are reported dead, including children.

The bombing resumed after a temporary lull called by the Syrian government, in part to allow civilians to leave rebel areas in the east of Aleppo.