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Mystery remains over papal assassination attempt

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Mystery remains over papal assassination attempt

The release of Pope John Paul’s would-be-assassin has resurrected many of the mysteries surrounding the incident. Despite being hit by four bullets, the Pope later publicly forgave Agca and even visited him in prison. But whatever passed between them failed to shed light on the many conspiracy theories which have continued to this day. Initially, Agca claimed to have acted alone but later he said he had been commissioned by secret services in the then Communist Eastern Europe – something he later retracted. It is believed he made his attempt on the Pope’s life in St Peter’s Square, Rome, after being trained in weaponry in Syria. He said the training was paid for by the Bulgarian government – something which that country has strongly denied. But while the world looked on, shocked as the Pope buckled from the brutality of the attack, many in Italy pointed the finger of blame at Moscow. During the 1980s the popular Polish pontiff was becoming an icon for anti-communist fervour. One theory says Moscow feared his unsettling effect. A KGB dossier was later found implying that Agca had worked for the Soviets but again this has not been substantiated. A further mystery surrounds the disappearance of the daughter of a Vatican employee. It is thought to have been part of a failed attempt to win an early release for the gunman.
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