VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis on Wednesday condemned what he called "inhuman terrorist acts" in three different countries this week and prayed that violent militants be converted to peace.
"I would like to pray together with you for the victims of the inhuman terrorist acts carried out in the past few days in Australia, Pakistan and Yemen," he said to tens of thousands of people at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square.
"May God welcome the dead into his peace, comfort the families and convert the hearts of the violent ones, who do not even stop before children," he said in a sombre voice, inviting the crowd to join in a moment of silent prayer for the victims.
Taliban militants killed 132 students and nine staff members at a school in the city of Peshawar, Pakistan on Tuesday.
In Sydney, three people were killed, including hostage-taker Man Haron Monis, when police stormed a cafe on Tuesday and freed terrified hostages held at gunpoint for 16 hours.
At least 25 people died when two car bombs exploded in Radaa city in Yemen's central province of al-Bayda, local and medical sources said.
Reporting By Philip Pullella and Eleanor Biles; Editing by Tom Heneghan