Pope decries "vile attack" in Syria in Easter mass message

Tens of thousands of faithful braved heavy security checks for their place in St. Peter's Square in the Vatican to witness Pope Francis celebrate Easter Sunday Mass.

Francis delivered the "Urbi et Orbi'' -- his Easter message to the city and the world -- from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica.

Among other things, Francis decried what he called the vile attack in Syria on civilians being removed as part of his Easter message denouncing war and exploitation in the world. 

An explosion ripped through a bus depot in the Syrian city of Aleppo on Saturday where evacuees were waiting for buses, killing at least 100 people.

Security during the Easter celebration, already deployed in Holy Week ceremonies, included armed police positioned on rooftops and metal detectors. 

The steps leading to St. Peter's Basilica, as well as the square itself, were decorated with colourful spring flowers.