Two underage girls who say they wanted to leave Austria to go to Syria have been returned home, after police learned of their plans and stepped in.

Interior Ministry official Alexander Marakovits said Tuesday that the 14- and 15-year-old girls had been reported missing in Vienna. The mother of a third girl in the city of Graz notified police on suspicions that they were planning to go to the Mideast and were trying to convince her daughter to come with them.

They subsequently told police their destination was Syria or Iraq.

The ministry didn't say what the girls planned to do there.

About 160 people from Austria have joined Islamic militants in the region.