48 Iranian pilgrims abducted in Syria

August 4th, 2012 - 8:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Tehran, Aug 4 (IANS) At least 48 Shia Muslim pilgrims from Iran were Saturday abducted in the Syrian capital by militants while they were on their way to the Damascus airport, Iran’s state-run IRIB TV reported.

Majid Kamjou, chief counsel of the Iranian embassy in Syria, said the group of pilgrims was scheduled to visit a Shia shrine in suburban Damascus before leaving the city for Tehran, Xinhua reported.

There has been no news about the whereabouts of the pilgrims, but the consulate section of the Iranian embassy in Damascus has been tracing the kidnappers with help from Syrian authorities, the official said.

The al-Mayadeen TV network also said a bus transporting Iranian pilgrims was hijacked by an armed group on the Damascus airport road.

Xinhua said many Shia pilgrims in Syria have been kidnapped since the 17-month unrest in the country.

Earlier Saturday, Syrian army troops uncovered a mass grave in the Damascus suburb of Yalda, which was controlled by rebels.

An undetermined number of bodies there belong to civilians and army personnel, Xinhua said.

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