04272018Fri

John Paul II's gunman says Iran behind '81 attempt

AP: The Turkish gunman who shot Pope John Paul II has changed his story once again, saying in a new autobiography that Iran's late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini personally told him to kill the pope. The Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Turkish gunman who shot Pope John Paul II has changed his story once again, saying in a new autobiography that Iran's late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini personally told him to kill the pope.

Mehmet Ali Agca writes in "They Promised Me Paradise," released Thursday in Italy, that he was trained in Iran by Khomeini's forces after escaping from a Turkish prison, and that the Iranian leader himself told him to kill John Paul in the name of God.

Agca shot and wounded John Paul on May 13, 1981, in St. Peter's Square.

Minutes after being arrested, Agca said he had acted alone. Later, he suggested Bulgaria and the Soviet Union's KGB were behind the attack, but then backed away from that assertion.

Agca was released from prison in 2010.

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