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Pope meets father of drowned Syrian refugee boy

Pope Francis met with the father of a Alan Kurdi, a three-year old Syrian boy who drowned crossing the Mediterranean Sea and whose image drew global attention to the plight of refugees fleeing to Europe.

Following a Mass on Sunday in the Iraqi city of Irbil, Francis met with Abdullah Kurdi, Vatican footage showed.

Through an interpreter, the pope listened to Kurdi’s story and expressed sympathy for the loss of his family.

The pope wrapped up his historic four-day visit to Iraq on Monday.

The Kurdi family, who hail from Kobane in Syria, took the route of many Syrian and other migrants in 2015 by sea in a small boat from Turkey heading for Greece.

When their boat capsized, Alan Kurdi, one of his brothers and his mother perished.

The image of Alan's body, washed up on Turkish shores, came to symbolise the perilous journey to Europe and drew international condemnation.

The father now runs a charity in Irbil.

AP

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