Two teenage girls from Austria have been stopped by police en route to the Middle East, where it is thought they intended to join Islamist militants.

The interior ministry said the two girls, aged 14 and 15, told police they planned to go to Iraq or Syria.

The ministry didn't say what the girls planned to do there, but local media reports that they told detectives they didn't like their lives in Austria and wanted to join the Islamic State, previously known as Isis.

Interior Ministry official Alexander Marakovit said that the pair were reported missing in Vienna.

Later a woman from Graz alerted police that her 16-year-old daughter had been contacted by two friends who tried to convince her to go to the Middle East.

Police eventually tracked down the girls, who have since been returned to their homes.

The mother of the 16-year-old, whose family are of Iraqi origin but have been living in Austria for about 20 years, became suspicious at the great amount of luggage her daughter was packing and prevented her from leaving, The Local reported.

It was not immediately clear how the girls became radicalised. Some 160 Austrian nationals are believed to be among the hundreds of Europeans that have joined Islamist fighters in Iraq and Syria.

Dozens of women, including about 60 Britons, are known to have travelled to the region to support IS.