Sisters found in Syria, one injured

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Two teenaged Somalian-Norwegian sisters who secretly traveled to Turkey in October have been found in Syria, according to their father. Both girls were keen to “be good Muslims” and join the fight against the Syrian government, but now they just want to come home.

Both disappeared from their Oslo-area home and left a note for their parents that they were heading for Syria. Their family contacted Norwegian authorities and their father took off after them, combing border areas between Turkey and Syria as he tried to locate them.

‘Answering a call’ turned ‘dramatic’
The sisters, aged 16 and 19, were among several other young Norwegian muslims who claimed to be answering a call for service in Syria. The trend has alarmed both Norwegian authorities and many muslim spokespersons in Norway, who fear the young would-be warriors have become radical Islamists.

The girls’ family was reportedly shocked by their desire to go to Syria, and Norwegian foreign ministry officials got involved in the search for them. On Friday, newspaper Dagsavisen reported that their father, who conducted his own search for his daughters over the objections of Norwegian authorities, had located the girls and that the younger of the two had been shot and wounded.

“It’s been extremely dramatic for him, and it has been extremely dramatic for the youngest sister, who is injured,” said the family’s attorney, high-profile lawyer Geir Lippestad.

Unable to travel
Both girls now want to come home, Lippestad said, but according to their father, they must wait until the 16-year-old is able to travel. “Their father said that she is so badly injured that she has problems walking,” Lippestad told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

The father has traveled home to Norway and underwent police questioning on Thursday. He reportedly has confidence in others whom he met in Syria and who will help the sisters cross back over the border to Turkey.

Lippestad said he will ask Norwegian authorities about what sort of help they can extend to get the girls home. They have both been the subject of an international search, so Turkish police also may be obligated to help, even though the girls traveled voluntarily to Turkey and on to Syria.

The Norwegian Embassy in Ankara can also offer consular assistance to the girls, if needed.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund