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Syrian refugee Pope took to Rome 'overwhelmed'

A Syrian refugee taken to Rome by the Pope and offered the chance to start a new life with her family in Italy has said she is "overwhelmed" by the Pontiff's kindness.

In a symbolic gesture, the Pope finished his tour of the Greek island of Lesbos on Saturday by taking three Syrian families with him back to the Vatican.

The 12 refugees, including six children, accompanied the Pontiff on his return journey arriving at the Sant'Egidio community centre on Saturday night where they began their new life.

During his trip he vowed solidarity with refugees, telling them they were "not alone", while he also laid memorials for those who have died at sea crossing to Europe.

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Pope 'takes 12 Syrian refugees' back to Rome

Three families of Syrian refugees boarded the Pope's plane Credit: Reuters

Pope Francis has taken 12 refugees from Syria - including six children - with him on his plane back to Rome, according to the Vatican.

In a statement, the Vatican said the pontiff "desired to make a gesture of welcome" regarding refugees.

Three families of refugees, reportedly selected from lots drawn, boarded the Pope's plane as it left the Greek island of Lesbos, the statement said.

All of the refugees were Muslim - two families from Damascus and one from ISIS-controlled Deir Azzor - and will be looked after by the Sant'Egidio Christian community once they arrive in Rome.

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