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Pope Francis announced on Sunday that he intends to visit Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, on June 6.
The surprise announcement came as he addressed the crowds in St. Peter’s Square after the recitation of the Angelus prayer.
“God willing,” the Pope said, “on Saturday, June 6 I will travel to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina.” And he asked for prayers so his one-day visit would encourage Bosnia's Catholic population as well as `'give rise to the development of good and contribute to the consolidation of brotherhood and peace, inter-religious dialogue and friendship.''
The nation, which was part of the former Yugoslavia, was ravaged by the 1992-95 war which took over 100,000 lives. Thousands of people, including Muslim Bosnians and Catholic Croats, were killed or taken to concentration camps during Serb efforts in 1992 to drive out non-Serbs. The prosecution of war crimes suspects is still ongoing.