Britons held trying to cross into Syria are from North of England, police say

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Nine British nationals detained in Turkey after apparently trying to cross into war-torn Syria are from Rochdale, police have said.

The group of five adults and four children, who are believed to be related, are being returned to the UK after they were stopped in Hatay province on Wednesday.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said officers were trying to establish their reason for travelling to the Syrian border.

Assistant Chief Constable Ian Wiggett said: “What is obviously concerning is why a family were seemingly attempting to take very young and vulnerable children into a war zone; such a volatile and dangerous environment is no place for them whatsoever.”

Footage released earlier apparently shows the Britons arriving at a police station in the Southern Hatay province, where they are understood to have been kept overnight.

The group – which reportedly comprises three men, two women and four children – were arrested in Hatay province, which shares a border with Syria.

According to Sky News, Turkish MP Mehmet Ali Ediboglu said last night: “They are being held at a paramilitary outpost. Probably they will be deported to their country tomorrow.”

The Foreign Office said it is in contact with the Turkish authorities.

The latest arrests come after three young men were detained at the Turkey-Syria border last month. They were tracked down after police were given a tip-off about their alleged plan to enter the country.

A woman was also arrested at the border in March in a separate incident.

In February, police launched an international manhunt for three schoolgirls who went missing from their east London homes.

Bethnal Green Academy pupils Shamima Begum, Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana are now believed to be inside Syria after flying to Turkey. It is understood they were following another 15-year-old girl.