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Missing Bristol girl "may have been radicalised"

Police say a missing 15 year old Somali girl from Bristol may be attempting to get to Syria.

It's understood the teenager has travelled to Turkey.

Assistant Chief Constable Louisa Rolfe said there are indications the girl "may have been radicalised".

“Since she was reported missing by her parents we’ve carried out extensive work to trace her footsteps from the time she left home to her arrival in Turkey. We’re giving every support we can to her family; we want to find out where she is and encourage her to return safely. Our officers are working closely with the Metropolitan Police and their network of international liaison officers to find her.

“There are indications she may have been radicalised but at the moment our priority is to find her before she crosses the border to Syria and make sure she is safe.

“We must all be vigilant and ready to spot the signs of radicalisation. Often, young Muslims who go to Syria hold can be naïve and don’t recognise that they are being sucked into joining extremist groups. This is not about criminalising these young people, it’s about preventing tragedies.”

– Louisa Rolfe, Avon and Somerset Police

Concern over young from the west fighting in Syria

Police and community groups have been discussing concerns for young people from the region travelling to join the conflict in Syria.

Around 20 people from the West are currently working in the country and families are being warned of the dangers of radicalisation.

The authorities are stressing it's not about criminalising relatives, it's to try to prevent a tragedy.


Giant heart to raise money for Syria

Giant heart to raise money for Syria Credit: Oxfam

A giant heart in support of people in Syria will be moved from Cornwall to Gloucestershire today. The art piece has been made up from two thousand flags and will be raising money for refugees in the country. The flags were started to be put into place at 7 this morning in Chalford near Stroud.

South Swindon MP against 'boots on the ground'

Robert Buckland. Credit: ITV News West Country

The Conservative MP for South Swindon Robert Buckland has told ITV News West Country he is totally against anything that commits the UK to putting ‘boots on the ground’ or to taking part in an operation on anything like the scale of Iraq.

He said he was deeply cautious and sceptical about wholesale engagement without any timescale or exit strategy, and that is why he will be listening very carefully to what is being proposed in Parliament on Thursday.


Gloucestershire MP still to decide on Syrian vote

Laurence Robertson. Credit: Parliamentary Copyright

The Conservative MP for Tewkesbury Laurence Robertson has told ITV News West Country it is too early to say how he will vote once Parliament had debated what response, if any, it would make to the alleged poison attack in Syria.

Mr Robertson met President Assad in Damascus seven years ago and said the President had said to him; "Some people say that I'm [President Assad] a brutal dictator, while others say that I'm too weak to control my country".

British doctor returns from Syria

British doctor Rachael Craven from Bristol has just returned from Northern Syria after working secretly as a medic in the country for two weeks.

She worked in a house turned into a field hospital treating civilians and fighters mainly for gunshot and shrapnel wounds after heavy shelling.

The British anaesthetist normally works at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, but she used four of her five weeks annual leave in order to work in one of the most dangerous countries on the planet.

Protesters call for more help in Syria

Protestors and politicians gathered in Bristol on Saturday to call on the government to do more to help people in Syria. Problems in the country have been escalating since March last year. More than 13 thousand people have died.

Campaigners say they have to keep pressure on the international community to help stop the violence. Tanya Mercer has this report:

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