Samra Kesinovic, a girl who ran away to join ISIS fighters in Syria when she was 17 years old, was beaten to death as she tried to escape the country, according to reports.
— 7 News Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) November 25, 2015
Kesinovic and her friend Sabina Selimovic became “poster girls” for ISIS after they arrived in Syria in April of last year. They were both from Austria.
Austrian publication The Local reported that Kesinovic was trying to leave Raqqa, the ISIS stronghold. Austria’s interior minister and foreign minister said the two girls traveled to Syria last year to join the terrorist group. Selimovic is believed to have been killed months ago during fighting.
— Daily Star (@Daily_Star) November 24, 2015
A Tunisian woman who lived with the two girls in Raqqa was quoted by the publication. The woman said she was able to escape and gave her account, saying Kesinovic was murdered, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Kesinovic and Selimovic were children of Bosnian refugees who left to Austria during the 1990s as conflict erupted in the Balkan region.
“We cannot comment on individual cases,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Thomas Schnöll told the Austria Press Agency. Meanwhile, Interior Ministry spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundböck said he had no comment on the matter.
Kesinovic appeared heavily in ISIS propaganda material after she left her home to Syria. They were shown wearing Islamic headbands and holding Kalashnikov rifles and were surrounded by male jihadists.
Last year, the families reported the two girls missing after they disappeared. They left a note for their loved ones, saying “Don’t look for us. We will serve Allah and we will die for him.”
— Political Rift (@politicalrift) December 18, 2014
The Telegraph reported that they were traced as taking a flight to Turkey before heading to the border with Syria.
Kesinovic later spoke to her sister via telephone and said she was in Syria and had joined ISIS. She also wrote a letter home late last year, telling her family she was tired of the extreme violence she saw every day and wanted to come home.
It was believed they both married ISIS jihadists while in Syria.
Selimovic claimed she was happy in Syria. “Here I can really be free. I can practise my religion. I couldn’t do that in Vienna,” she was quoted by a magazine as saying.