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Man held for allegedly helping British schoolgirls cross into Syria

A man has been detained for allegedly helping three British schoolgirls cross into Syria, Turkey's foreign minister has said.

The man worked for the intelligence services of a country in the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State (IS), Mevlut Cavusoglu is quoted by Turkish media saying.

Shamima Begum, 15, Kadiza Sultana, 16, and 15-year-old Amira Abase, all students at Bethnal Green academy in east London, fled the UK last month to reportedly join IS.

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Local mosque: Schoolgirls 'manipulated into going to Syria'

Three schoolgirls who are believed to have travelled to Syria have been "misled," a spokesman for the local mosque said.

They have been misled. I do not know what was promised to them. It is just sad. We have not had anything like this before in our community.

I do not know what was told to them but if they do go to Syria, it is a war zone and there are serious ramifications for going in to a war zone.

We just want to see them brought back.

I think the girls need to know they have done nothing wrong. They have been manipulated.

– Salman Farsi, East London Mosque

Salman Farsi, spokesman for the East London Mosque, broke down in tears after speaking by telephone to the sister of one of the girls who had disappeared.

I spoke to a member of the family and she was very distressed.

They (the family) are just trying to help the police with their investigation, as are we.

I told her that if you need anything from us just let us know and she said that all they need is our prayers and she started crying - that really upset me. I can empathise with them. The community here is quite close and this feels quite close to home.

– Salman Farsi, East London Mosque

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