Iran Says 11 Pilgrims Kidnapped in Syria
Eleven Iranian pilgrims have been kidnapped in unrest-swept Syria, the foreign ministry said on Thursday, calling on Damascus to help secure their release.
"According to our information, 11 Iranian pilgrims travelling by road to Damascus were kidnapped by an unknown group," said ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast, quoted by the state news agency IRNA.
"We call on the Syrian government to use all means ... to release the Iranian nationals," he said.
In a similar incident in late December, seven Iranian engineers were kidnapped in the Homs region of central Syria, a hub of deadly unrest which has swept the Arab state since last March.
Syria is Iran's main ally in the Arab world. Anti-regime circles have accused Tehran of aiding the regime's crackdown on dissent.