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Iran says 11 pilgrims kidnapped in Syria


Eleven Iranian pilgrims have been kidnapped in 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.