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Last Updated: Sunday, 24 September 2006, 14:21 GMT 15:21 UK
Pope tribute to slain Italian nun
Sister Sgorbati (undated family photo)
The pope said Sister Sgorbati died with forgiveness on her lips
Pope Benedict XVI has paid tribute to an Italian nun killed in Somalia who is reported to have forgiven her attackers as she lay dying.

Sister Leonella Sgorbati was attacked, along with her bodyguard, outside the hospital in Mogadishu where she worked.

Some suspect the shooting was connected to recent remarks by the Pope which caused anger across the Islamic world.

Pope Benedict spoke ahead of Monday's planned meeting with ambassadors from predominantly Muslim countries.

He said her sacrifice was the most authentic type of Christian testimony, which showed "the victory of love over hate and evil".

"This nun, who served the poor and children in Somalia for many years, died with the word 'forgiveness' on her lips," the Pope told pilgrims and tourists during his Sunday address at his summer villa at Castelgandolfo near Rome.

On Monday, he is due to meet with envoys of Muslim countries for talks aimed at explaining that a recent speech he gave during a pilgrimage in Germany was misunderstood.

The Pope has said three times that he regrets the offence caused, expressing "deep respect" for Islam.


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