Reuters International

A group of Syrian refugees arrive to board a plane with Pope Francis at the airport of Mytilene, in the Greek island of Lesbos, April 16, 2016. REUTERS/Filippo Monteforte/Pool

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LESBOS (Reuters) - Three families of Syrian refugees boarded Pope Francis's plane heading back to the Vatican on Saturday after his lightning visit to a Greek island on the frontline of Europe's migrant crisis, a Reuters witness said.

"The Pope has desired to make a gesture of welcome regarding refugees, accompanying on his plane to Rome three families of refugees from Syria, 12 people in all, including six children," a statement issued by the Vatican said.

(Reporting By Phillip Pullella; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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