The Latest: Pope Francis deplores Somalia's deadliest attack

The Latest on deadliest attack in Somalia's history (all times local):

1 p.m.

Pope Francis has deplored the Somalia bombing that killed more than 300 people and wounded nearly 400 others.

At the end of his Wednesday public audience in St. Peter's Square, Francis said "this terrorist act merits the strongest laments" especially since it struck an already suffering population.

He prayed for the dead and wounded in Saturday's truck bombing in Mogadishu. Francis also appealed for the "conversion of the violent ones" and encouraged work for peace.

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12:45 p.m.

Somali police say African Union soldiers have fired at angry protesters marching toward the site of the country's deadliest attack.

Officer Ahmed Ali says the troops were responding after some protesters threw stones at them.

Thousands of people are marching through Mogadishu in a show of unity and defiance after Saturday's truck bombing killed more than 300 people and wounded nearly 400. Scores remain missing.

Somalia's government has blamed the attack on the al-Shabab extremist group, which often targets Mogadishu but has not commented.

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12:30 p.m.

Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Somalia's capital in a show of defiance after the country's deadliest attack.

Wearing red headbands, the crowd of mostly young men and women is marching through Mogadishu amid tight security.

"May Allah punish those who massacred our people," said university student Mohamed Salad.

The crowd marched toward the site of Saturday's truck bombing, which killed more than 300 people and wounded nearly 400. Scores remain missing.

"You can kill us, but not our spirit and desire for peace," said high school teacher Zainab Muse.

Somalia's government has blamed the attack on the al-Shabab extremist group, which often targets Mogadishu but has not commented.

Mayor Thabit Abdi called for Wednesday's march, saying "we must liberate this city which is awash with graves."