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Mehmet Ali Agca puts flowers at Pope John Paul II’s tomb in Vatican

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Mehmet Ali Agca, who shot and injured former Pope John Paul II in 1981, has laid flowers on the late pontiff’s tomb in the Vatican.

The 56-year-old Turkish man told police he felt he needed to make the gesture, Italian media report.

The gunman’s gesture comes 31 years to the day that Pope John Paul II visited Mehmet Ali Agca in prison and forgave him for the attempt on his life.

Mehmet Ali Agca served 19 years in an Italian jail for shooting the Pope twice at close range. His motive remains a mystery.Mehmet Ali Agca Pope John Paul tomb

He spent another 10 years in prison in Turkey on charges related to the earlier murder of a newspaper editor.

Mehmet Ali Agca laid white roses at the tomb of the late Pope on December 27, in his first visit to the Vatican since his attack on John Paul II on May 13, 1981.

Pope John Paul II was left seriously injured, with one bullet passing through his abdomen and another narrowly missing his heart.

Vatican officials have for a second time denied Mehmet Ali Agca’s request for a face-to-face meeting with Pope Francis.

“He has put flowers on the tomb of John Paul II. I think that is enough,” the Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, told La Repubblica newspaper.

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