VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Francis has decried the mounting civilian casualties in eastern Ukraine and is appealing for fresh attempts at dialogue to end the warfare.
In off-the-cuff remarks Sunday, Francis told pilgrims and tourists in St. Peter's Square that he is following the Ukrainian conflict with intense worry.
Francis told them: "I renew my heartfelt appeal so that attempts aimed at dialogue resume and so that all hostilities cease."
Indiscriminate rocket fire Saturday hit schools, homes and shops in the port city of Mariupol in an expansion of the fighting that has raged for months between pro-Russia separatists and government forces in eastern Ukraine. European mediation efforts have failed to stop the fighting.