Archbishop Eduardo Martín of Rosario, Argentina, has expressed his “sorrow and solidarity in prayer” for the victims of Tuesday’s terrorist attack in New York.

The attack occurred late Tuesday afternoon when a driver intentionally plowed into a bike lane in the TriBeCa neighborhood of lower Manhattan. Eight people were killed, including five Argentinians.

The driver was an Uzbek immigrant who planned the attack for months, saying he “did it in the name of ISIS.”

The five Argentinians killed were among a group of 10 friends marking the 30th anniversary of their graduation from Rosario’s Polytechnic School with a tour of New York and Boston, where a survivor of the group lived.

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“They were pedaling in lines of two, chatting, laughing, enjoying the ride. My husband was the last one in the line, when he felt a speeding car, and then the truck that zoomed by” at high speed, Cecilia Piedrabuena, the wife of survivor Ariel Benvenuto, told an Argentine radio station. “The truck took away his friends, and he saw them all scattered on the ground.”

In his statement, Martín spoke of the “shock” felt after the death of the five people from his city, and offered his prayers of consolation and strength.

“Give their family and friends the gift of hope that gives comfort in the most difficult moments, to continue trusting in His mercy, that soothes and gives serenity and peace,” the archbishop said.

This Oct. 28, 2017 photo shows from left to right; Hernan Ferruchi, Alejandro Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij, Ivan Brajckovic, Juan Pablo Trevisan, Hernan Mendoza, Diego Angelini and Ariel Benvenuto, gather for a group photo before their trip to New York City, at the airport in Rosario, in the province of Santa Fe, Argentina. Mendoza, Angelini, Pagnucco, Erlij and Ferruchi were killed in the bike path attack near the World Trade Center. (Credit: Courtesy of Trevisan family via AP.)

President Mauricio Macri said in Buenos Aires that the attack “hit all Argentines hard.”

On Wednesday, friends and relatives in Argentina began remembering the victims – most of them had become architects – who had remained close friends after leaving their school in 1987, getting together several times a year.

One victim, Hernan Diego Mendoza, was a father of three who designed the home of his close friend, Estanislao Beas.

“The news destroyed my wife and I,” Beas said. “We had a tight bond. We cared for him so much. It’s incredible that this happened to him and that he was there at that time.”

Another friend, Cesar Lagostino, attended a candlelight vigil for the victims Wednesday evening outside the school. He remembered Mendoza as an honest and generous person, “among those who deserve to stay in this world.”

The Argentine foreign ministry identified the other victims as Ariel Erlij, Diego Enrique Angelini, Alejandro Damian Pagnucco and Hernan Ferruchi.

The reunion trip was partially financed by Erlij, the chief executive of Ivanar, an Argentine steel products manufacturing company, according to Argentina’s La Nacion newspaper.

Another classmate, Martin Ludovico Marro, of Newton, Massachusetts, near Boston, was being treated at a Manhattan hospital.

Students play soccer as an Argentine flag hangs half-mast at the Polytechnic School in Rosario, Argentina, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. Several victims killed in the bike path attack near the World Trade Center in New York on Tuesday were part of a group of friends celebrating the 30th anniversary of their graduation from the school. (Credit: Natacha Pisarenko/AP.)

In Rosario, a minute of silence was observed at the high school earlier Wednesday, and the light-blue and white Argentina flag was flown at half-staff.

Only days earlier, before flying to the U.S., they had posed for a group photo, all of them wearing T-shirts with the word “Libre,” or “Free” — meaning free from any responsibilities, said Piedrabuena, the wife of survivor Ariel Benvenuto.

After reciting the Angelus for All Saints’ Day on Wednesday, Pope Francis prayed for the victims of the attack, saying he was “deeply grieved.”

“While deploring these acts of violence, I pray for the dead, the wounded and their families,” he said.

The pope condemned the “homicidal folly” of those who abuse the name of God to disseminate death and asked that the Lord convert the hearts of terrorists.

This article incorporated material from The Associated Press.