Minister: French teens go to Syria for Jihad

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Associated Press

Posted on January 19, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Updated Sunday, Jan 19 at 2:04 PM

PARIS (AP) — France's interior minister says about a dozen French adolescents have left for Syria to join jihadi groups or are trying to go, a phenomenon that's accelerating.

Manuel Valls said Sunday on iTele TV that since the end of 2013, there's been an uptick in French youth heading to Syria to join jihadi organizations.

Valls says French intelligence services have identified six adolescents who are trying to get to Syria. He noted the war to oust President Bashir Assad has attracted more Westerners, from Europe and elsewhere, than other battlegrounds like Afghanistan ever did.

Valls says about 250 French are fighting in Syria, 150 have shown they want to, 99 are in transit and 76 have returned. He says there have been 21 French deaths in Syria.

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