(Next Media Online) – Concern is growing over the fate of nine UK medical students who are believed to have travelled to Syria, where they are said to be working in hospitals in territory controlled by the Islamic State.
The nine UK students, five male and four female, all of Sudanese heritage, were studying medicine in the Sudanese capital Khartoum before traveling to Syria.
A Turkish lawmaker familiar with the case said he believed the group had been ‘brainwashed’.
At least three of the group had graduated, when on March 12 they caught Turkish Airlines flight 681 to Istanbul. From there, they took the long bus journey to the border with Syria.
One of the group then sent a text message to a relative before smugglers helped them cross the border. Turkish authorities believe the group is now working in hospitals in the Islamic State-controlled town of Tel Abyad.
Turkish politicians and the government are currently working with members of the students’ families to help locate the students.
British authorities have said the students would not necessarily face charges upon their return if they could prove they had not been fighting.
SOURCES: THE GUARDIAN, NY TIMES