Life just too hard in Syria – mum

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Published: Monday 19th January 2015 by The News Editor

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A British woman thought to have fled life in Islamic State-controlled Syria with her young son has told how she “escaped death”.

Tareena Shakil, 25, who was believed to have gone to the war-torn country last October with 17-month-old son Zaheem, described life in the IS-held city of Raqqa as “hard”.

Ms Shakil, who is being held in a Turkish detention centre, told The Sun: “I hated it. I tried to escape within a few days of getting there. It wasn’t what I thought it would be.

“Life is so hard there. There’s no hot water, no electricity for hours on end, none of the comforts we are used to in Britain.

“I escaped death so many times. There were bombs coming down on the street where I lived every night. the house would shake. I didn’t know if I was going to live or die.”

Miss Shakil, from Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, was originally reported to have told her family she was going on holiday to Spain and father Mohammad said at the time: “There was no reason to suspect. Tareena did drama and was in the Guides. She loved the Spice Girls and Towie.”

More than 500 Britons are estimated to have travelled to join the extremist group in Iraq and Syria along with what Europol this week said could be up to 5,000 people from European countries.

Fears of a terrorist attack on Britain’s streets have heightened in response to the threat of returning fighters and in the wake of shootings in Paris, including at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo this month.

Published: Monday 19th January 2015 by The News Editor

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