Thiruvananthapuram, June 20: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday,June 20 condemned the attack on Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II, head of the Syrian Orthodox church, who had a narrow escape when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a function attended by the religious leader in Syria.
The incident took place yesterday when the Patriarch, supreme leader of the Syrian churches, including the Jacobite church in Kerala, was leading a prayer meeting commemorating the massacre of Christians over a century ago in north east Syria.
In a statement here, the Chief Minister said, "It is a relief to hear that the religious head was not injured." "We share the concern of all those who love and respect him," Vijayan said, adding the incident was "extremely painful".
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, in a statement, said the incident had shocked the conscience of people the world over and the Patriarch was a spokesperson of peace and tranquillity. "I am glad that the Patriarch escaped a bid on his life.
I wish him a long life", he said. According to media reports, at least two people were killed in the attack.