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3 British Teen Girls Feared Headed to Syria to Join Islamic State

FILE - Muslim demonstrators pray during a protest in central London that followed publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, Feb. 8, 2015.

Police in Britain appealed Friday for information that might help them find three teenage schoolgirls who were believed to be traveling to Syria to join Islamic State militants.

Scotland Yard said the three girls flew from London to Istanbul, Turkey, this week without telling their families.

All three girls, aged 15 to 16, attend the same school in east London, Bethnal Green Academy. Police said they thought the girls were following the example of another teenage girl from their school who left for Syria in December.

Police said they were working with Turkish authorities to try to find the girls and bring them home.

Two of the girls were identified as Shamima Begun and Kadiza Sultana. The third girl was not being named at the request of her family.

Richard Walton, head of London's police counterterrorism command, said the force was concerned that there could be a growing trend of girls showing an interest in joining the Islamic State militant group.