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Austria Detains Teenage Girls Who Wanted to Marry ISIS Fighters

VIENNA — Austria has detained two teenage girls after they tried to travel to Syria to marry fighters of the jihadist group ISIS, a spokesman for the prosecution said Sunday. The girls, ages 16 and 17, were sent back to Austria from Romania, where they had been picked up by authorities on a train Dec. 30 as they tried to make their way to Syria to marry ISIS fighters there. About 170 people, many from Eastern Europe, have traveled to the Middle East from Austria to join Islamist militant groups, according to the Interior Ministry.

The girls's parents had handed over the 16-year-old's phone to Austrian authorities when she went missing in December. Data taken from a Russian chat application on the phone showed conversations about the girls' plans, a spokesman for the prosecutors in Salzburg said. The girls had Bosnian and Chechen family backgrounds, according to APA news agency. Austrian authorities in October detained on terrorism-related charges a 14-year-old boy who was allegedly planning to travel to Syria and had researched how to build bombs on the Internet.

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— Reuters