Three British sisters and their nine children who failed to return home from a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia may have gone to Syria instead, authorities said on Tuesday.

The Dawood sisters, all from Bradford in northern England, were reported missing five days ago, along with their children, who range in age from three to 15.

"Their families are gravely worried about them and want them home," said Russ Foster, Assistant Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police.

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