Briton who died fighting IS in Syria 'killed himself to avoid being captured'

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A young Briton who died fighting alongside Kurdish forces in Syria killed himself to avoid falling hostage to Islamic State (IS) militants, an inquest heard.

Ryan Lock, 20, from Chichester, West Sussex, died last December fighting with the People's Defence Units (YPG) in the northern city of Raqqa, considered to be IS's de facto capital.

Former chef Mr Lock, who had no previous military experience, joined the Kurdish militia after telling his family he was going backpacking to Turkey in August last year.

An inquest in Portsmouth, Hampshire, heard that after being surrounded by IS fighters, he turned his gun on himself to avoid being captured and suffering a "frightening and painful death".

In the months before he died, Mr Lock had kept in touch with his family via Facebook Messenger, sending them pictures and updates on his military training.

But after losing contact with him last December, Mr Lock's father Jon Plater found images online of his son with an IS fighter standing over his body, and his death was later confirmed, the inquest heard.