ROME (AP) — Three Italian missionary nuns were found slain in their convent in Burundi, church and ministry officials said Monday.
The Italian foreign ministry confirmed the slayings in Kamenge, near Bujumbura, Burundi's capital. The ministry declined to give details, including exactly when the slayings occurred.
The Italian missionary news agency Misna quoted the Saverian missionaries' superior in the east African nation, the Rev. Mario Pulcini, as saying the bodies of two nuns were found Sunday afternoon by a third nun. He told Misna that during the night, other nuns telephoned to say they feared the attacker was still in the convent. When help arrived, the nun who had found the first two victims was herself found slain, Pulcini said.
The nuns' home diocese of Parma, Italy, said robbery appeared to be the motive.
Pope Francis, in a condolence telegram to Bujumbura's archbishop, said he "learned with great sadness of the murder" of the three "faithful and devout nuns in these tragic circumstances."