Relatives of one of the three missing London schoolgirls believed to be headed to Syria to join jihadists have begged their daughter to return.

A statement issued by the family of Shamima Begum, 15, said: "We miss you terribly and are extremely worried about you. Please, if you hear this message, get in touch and let us know you are safe. We want you home with us. You belong at home with us.

"Syria is a dangerous place and we don't want you to go there. Get in touch with the police and they will help to bring you home. You are not in any trouble.

"We understand that you have strong feelings and want to help those you believe are suffering in Syria. You can help from home, you don't have to put yourself in danger.

"Please don't cross the border. Please come home to us. Our Mum needs you home and is really worried. We are not mad at you, we love you."

Begum, Kadiza Sultana, 16, and an unnamed 15-year-old, who are all pupils at Bethnal Green Academy, flew from London Gatwick to Istanbul on Tuesday (17 February) during their half-term break.

They did not tell their families they were travelling to Turkey, and made excuses for their whereabouts that day.

During Friday night prayers at the East London mosque, worshippers were asked to come forward with any information that could help police trace the schoolgirls.

Police are hoping to find the girls in Turkey before they reach Syria.

Counter Terrorism Command Commander Richard Walton said: "We are extremely concerned for the safety of these young girls and would urge anyone with information to come forward and speak to police. Our priority is the safe return of these girls to their families.

"We are reaching out to the girls using the Turkish media and social media in the hope that Shamima, Kadiza and their friend hear our messages, hear our concerns for their safety and have the courage to return now, back to their families who are so worried about them."

Speaking to ITV News on Saturday, one of their fellow pupils said she was shocked by their disappearance and appealed for them to return home.

Atlanta Broadbent said the girls were "the hardest working pupils in school".

Several British girls and women have travelled to Syria to join IS, which controls huge areas of Syria and Iraq.

Anyone with any information on the girls' whereabouts should call the freephone Anti-Terrorist Hotline number on 0800 789 321.