Pope Francis has said he is saddened by the "senseless acts" in New Zealand, after 49 people have been killed in two shootings at mosques in the city of Christchurch, The Telegraph reported.
The pontiff said he was praying for the dozens seriously injured in the attacks and "for all affected by this tragedy".
A statement released by the Vatican said: "His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the injury and loss of life caused by the senseless acts of violence at two Mosques in Christchurch, and he assures all New Zealanders, and in particular the Muslim community, of his heartfelt solidarity in the wake of these attacks.
"Mindful of the efforts of the security and emergency personnel in this difficult situation, His Holiness prays for the healing of the injured, the consolation of those who grieve the loss of their loved ones, and for all affected by this tragedy.
"Commending those who have died to the loving mercy of Almighty God, Pope Francis invokes the divine blessings of comfort and strength upon the nation."