London- Three east London schoolgirls have flown to Turkey and there are fears they may cross the Syrian border and join the Islamic State terrorist group.

Shamima Begum, 15, Kadiza Sultana, 16, and an unnamed 15-year-old, pupils at Bethnal Green Academy, flew from Gatwick on Tuesday, during half-term.

Commander Richard Walton, of the Metropolitan Police, said he feared they were "extremely vulnerable". The trio are friends with a fourth girl who travelled to Syria in December.

At the time the three girls were interviewed as her friends, police said. Cdr Walton said the teenagers' families were "devastated" but there was a "good chance" the girls were still in Turkey. He hoped a police appeal, via social media, would persuade them not to enter Syria.

They were last seen at their homes on Tuesday morning when they gave their families "plausible reasons" to be out for the day, police said.

The girls boarded a Turkish Airlines flight, which landed in Turkey on Tuesday evening. The third girl is not being named at the request of her family. Shamima is possibly travelling under the name of her 17-year-old sister Aklima Begum, police said.

Courtesy: BBC