World Bulletin / News Desk
A bus load of Iranians were abducted by gunmen while on a visit in Syria on Saturday, Iranian media reported, the latest in a string of kidnappings of visitors from the Islamic Republic, a country allied to President Bashar al-Assad.
The 48 Iranians, planning to visit a shrine on the outskirts of Damascus of particular significance to Shi-ite Muslims, were kidnapped on the road from the airport, Iran's consul general in Syria was reported as saying by state broadcaster IRIB.
"We still do not have any information about the fate of this group of Iranian pilgrims," Majid Kamjoo said. "The consular section of the Iranian embassy in Syria is seeking to trace the kidnappers of the Iranian pilgrims with the cooperation of Syrian officials."
Syria's state television channel reported that "armed terrorist groups" had snatched the Iranians who intended to visit the Sayyeda Zeinab mosque, a popular site.
Several groups of Iranians have been abducted in Syria since the uprising began.
Iran's official pilgrimage organisation said it did not have any pilgrims in Syria because of the circumstances in the country and that those kidnapped on Saturday had organised their trip privately, Iran's Fars news agency reported.
Tehran has condemned what it calls foreign interference in Syrian affairs, where its Sunni Gulf Arab rivals support the uprising, and has praised Assad for promising political reforms.Last Mod: 05 Ağustos 2012, 09:47