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100 UK imams urge Britons to stay away from Syria

July 4, 2014

LONDON (AP) — Some 100 imams are urging British Muslims to refrain from traveling to Syria amid concerns that fighters will become radicalized.

The open letter issued Friday offered a unified voice by various religious factions, appealing to British Muslims to support those affected by the war in Syria and recent fighting in Iraq, but to do so “from the U.K. in a safe and responsible way.”

The letter comes as concerns grow about home-grown terrorism. Fears about returning radicals have been heightened by a video released online that showed three men identified as British exhorting compatriots to come join the militants in Iraq.

U.K. authorities estimate as many as 500 Britons have traveled to Syria to fight, and that some may have crossed into Iraq.

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