Syria: Busload of Iranian pilgrims kidnapped in Damascus
|Publisher||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty|
|Publication Date||4 August 2012|
|Cite as||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Syria: Busload of Iranian pilgrims kidnapped in Damascus, 4 August 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/502504ff23.html [accessed 14 March 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
August 04, 2012
An Iranian Embassy official in Syria said 48 Iranian pilgrims have been kidnapped from a bus in Damascus.
Majid Kamjou told Iranian state television that "armed terrorist groups" seized the pilgrims who were on their way to the airport on August 4.
Kamjou said he had no information about their fate, but maintained Syrian authorities had begun a search.
Syrian state media reported that the Iranians had been planning to visit the Sayyeda Zeinab mosque, a popular pilgrimage site for Shi'ite Muslims.
The incident is the latest in a string of kidnappings since the uprising began against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is supported by Tehran.
In December, five Iranian engineers were kidnapped in Homs, while a group of pilgrims were kidnapped in January and February.
Iranian media say most of them have been released.
Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and dpa