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Guy Who Tried to Kill Pope Leaves Flowers on His Grave

Mehmet Ali Agca says he 'felt the need to make this gesture'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2014 12:32 PM CST

(Newser) – Mehmet Ali Agca, who tried to assassinate Pope John Paul II in 1981, today brought flowers to the late pope's tomb in St. Peter's Basilica, the AP reports. Agca, a former extremist who was 23 when he shot the pontiff, told police in Rome, "I felt the need to make this gesture." John Paul visited Agca in prison on this date in 1983 to tell him he was forgiven, AFP reports. Agca has made at least two requests to meet with Pope Francis, but both have been declined. This is believed to have been his first visit to the Vatican since the shooting. (Read more Mehmet Ali Agca stories.)

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