13/05/81: Assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II

On Wednesday 13 May 1981 an attempt to assassinate Pope John Paul II was made in St Peter's Square in Vatican City.

The Pope was shot and wounded by Mehmet Ali Ağca while he was entering the square at around 5.17 pm. The Pope was struck four times, and suffered severe blood loss. Ağca was apprehended immediately, and later sentenced to life in prison by an Italian court.

The Pope later forgave Ağca for the assassination attempt. He was pardoned by Italian president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi at the Pope's request and was deported to Turkey in June 2000.

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