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Pope Francis prays for London attack victims and their families

Pope Francis leads a Pentecost prayer vigil on Saturday evening (Getty)

Pope Francis prayed for the victims of the terrorist attack in London at the end of Mass on Pentecost Sunday.

“May the Holy Spirit grant peace to the whole world,” Pope Francis said, according to Vatican Radio. “May He heal the wounds of war and of terrorism, which even this [Saturday] night, in London, struck innocent civilians: let us pray for the victims and their families.”

On Saturday evening three attackers drove a white van into pedestrians on London Bridge before stabbing people in Borough Market. They killed seven people and injured 48 before they were shot dead by police.

The three men reportedly shouted “this is for Allah” during the attack.

In a statement, British Prime Minister Theresa May said: “This is, as we all know, the third terrorist attack Britain has experienced in the last three months. In March, a similar attack took place, just around the corner on Westminster Bridge.

“Two weeks ago, the Manchester Arena was attacked by a suicide bomber. And now London has been struck once more.

“And at the same time, the security and intelligence agencies and police have disrupted five credible plots since the Westminster attack in March.

“In terms of their planning and execution, the recent attacks are not connected. But we believe we are experiencing a new trend in the threat we face, as terrorism breeds terrorism, and perpetrators are inspired to attack not only on the basis of carefully constructed plots after years of planning and training – and not even as lone attackers radicalised online – but by copying one another and often using the crudest of means of attack.”