Missing Wisbech Grammar School pupil working in Syrian hospital

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A former Wisbech Grammar School pupil who travelled to Syria in the spring is thought to be working in a hospital close to the Turkish border, her family has revealed.

Lena Gadir, 19, is one of nine students from the Khartoum Medical School who travelled to the war-torn area in March, saying they were going to help treat injured people.

At the time, political leaders feared the group may have been radicalised by Islamic State militants.

National media reports also suggested Lena, a former Wisbech Grammar School pupil, had praised terrorist atrocities on social media.

But, in a statement issued on Wednesday, the family said: “Lena endures as a loving daughter, a doting sister and a caring member of our community.

“Watching the identity of someone so close to our hearts being violated has remained the tragedy that never ends.

“We have recently met with our MP, Mr Henry Bellingham, with a request that we have a meeting with the Foreign Office minister.

“We are aware of the fact that she is working in a hospital in a town adjacent to the Turkish border and we are confident that pressure from various governments will lead to more information becoming available.

“We would like to take the time to thank our friends, colleagues and the wider community for being so steadfast and sensitive to our ordeal.

“We could not ask for any more, only the hope of good fortune and that we maintain the dignity of privacy during this difficult time.”

The statement came as the husbands of three sisters from Bradford, who are believed to have travelled to Syria with their nine children, appealed for them to come home.

It has since been revealed that the party was prevented from leaving Britain in March, at around the same time news of Lena’s disappearance became public.

In March headteacher Chris Staley said she was “a fantastic girl” and a “great all-rounder”, who was a member of the school council and took part in a range of sporting and social activities. He said: “Our thoughts and prayers go to her family. There’s nobody here who would have been at school with Lena but the staff who taught her are quite shocked.”