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Pope Francis asks for prayers for Albania trip

He is due to travel there on Sunday 21st September, in what will be his first European trip outside Italy.

According to Vatican Radio, the pontiff said: "Next Sunday, with God's help, I will go in Albania.

"I decided to visit this country because it has suffered so much because of a terrible atheist regime and is now realising peaceful coexistence among its various religious components."

He went on to send special greetings to the Albanian people for making his visit possible.

Pope Francis was speaking after Iraq's ambassador to the Vatican warned there could be attempts to kill him by Islamic State (IS) militants.

Habeeb Al Sadr said: "I believe they could try to kill him during one of his overseas trips or even in Rome. There are members of Isil who are not Arabs but Canadian, American, French, British, also Italians.

"Isil could engage any of these to commit a terrorist attack in Europe."

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