Pope calls Armenian massacre first genocide of 20th century

April 12, 2015 12:58 PM

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VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis described the massacre of as many as 1.5 million Armenians as "the first genocide of the 20th century" at a 100th anniversary Mass on Sunday, prompting Turkey to summon the Holy See's ambassador in Ankara in protest.

Muslim Turkey accepts that many Christian Armenians died in clashes with Ottoman soldiers beginning in 1915, when Armenia was part of the empire ruled from Istanbul, but denies hundreds of thousands were killed and that this amounted to genocide.

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