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3 British teens detained in Turkey trying to reach Syria

Three young men from London have been stopped in Turkey en route to join "Islamic State." Security services think around 600 Britons have travelled to the Middle East to join jihadist groups.

Three British male teenagers have been detained in Istanbul while trying to travel to Syria to join the

"Islamic State" (IS) militants

there, Turkish officials confirmed Sunday.

The three unnamed young men were detained on Friday, after Scotland Yard announced that two 17-year-olds from northwest London had "gone missing and were believed to be traveling to Syria."

"Enquiries revealed that they had travelled with a third male, aged 19 years," a spokesman added later.

Scotland Yard then informed Turkish security forces, who detained the teens and said arrangements were being made with British counterterrorism agents to deport them later this week. The teens are believed to have traveled to Turkey via Spain.

"Officers alerted the Turkish authorities who were able to intercept all three males, preventing travel to Syria. They remain in detention in Turkey. The families have been kept informed of developments," a British police statement said.

On Thursday, the Turkish foreign minister said a group of female teenagers who had earlier travelled to Syria

had been helped to cross the border by a spy

working for one of the countries in the US-led coalition against the IS jihadis.

Security services estimate some 600 Britons have gone to Syria or Iraq to join militant groups, including Mohammed Emwazi, the man known as "Jihadi John" who has appeared in several videos showing the beheading of IS hostages.

es/sb (AFP, Reuters)

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