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Missing Austrian teens are 'near Syria'

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Missing Austrian teens are 'near Syria'
Violetta (L) and Viktoria (R). Photo: Police
10:09 CET+01:00
The mother of two teenage girls who recently left their home in Austria and may have headed to Syria to join Islamic State extremists says she has received a phone call from her daughters, who claim to be in Turkey.

Interior Ministry officials and police spokesmen have played down the likelihood that the two teenage girls became radicalized and left the country as jihadists.

Sisters Viktoria, 16, and Violetta, 17, left their home in Vienna on the evening of November 1st at 11:30 pm and have not been seen since.

The girls' mother, 46-year-old Setaniye S., said she feared they had left the country and gone to Syria.

However she now says she has had a phone call from both girls to say that they are in Turkey and are staying with their grandmother on the border with Syria. They refused to say when or if they were coming home.

She suspects that they may have been influenced by extremists just like two other teenage girls, Samra Kesinovic, 17, and Sabina Selimovic, 15, who left Vienna earlier this year for Turkey and then Syria.

The girls took no luggage, just their mobile phones.

Police are investigating their disappearance but have said there is no proof that the telephone calls were made from Turkey.

“At least I have proof that they are alive. I had started to imagine that maybe they were not even alive, but now I know they are alive, although I still don't have them back with me," their mother said.

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