48 Iranians pilgrims abducted

FPJ BureauUpdated: Sunday, June 02, 2019, 02:05 AM IST
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Tehran Forty- eight Iranian pilgrims were kidnapped from a bus in the Syrian capital on Saturday, their embassys consular chief in Damascus told Irans state television.

” Armed terrorist groups kidnapped 48 Iranian pilgrims on their way to

the airport,” Majid Kamjou told the IRIB network, which gave the report on its website. ” There are no reports about the fate of the pilgrims. The embassy and Syrian officials are trying to trace the kidnappers,” he said.

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians travel each year to Syria to visit a Shiite pilgrimage site, the Shrine of Zaynab, in Damascus.

Tehran is the staunchest ally of Syrian President Bashar al- Assad, whose forces are locked in a bloody conflict in Damascus and other cities against rebels his regime describesas ” terrorists”. Several dozen Iranian pilgrims and engineers were abducted in December and January, with most being released months later. Many of the rebels come from Syrias Sunni majority, which is hostile to the support Shiite Iran has shown to the regime of Assad, whose family is Alawite, a Shiite offshoot.

— AFP

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