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publish date : 31 Saturday March 2012      21:6

Tehran welcomes release of Iranians abducted in Syria

TEHRAN, March 31 (MNA) – Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast on Saturday welcomed the release of five Iranian pilgrims who had been abducted in the Syrian city of Homs.

They arrived in Tehran on Saturday.

Iran announced on February 1 that 11 Iranian citizens had been kidnapped while on a pilgrimage in Syria.

Mehmanparast thanked efforts made by the Turkish Foreign Ministry and the relevant officials to help obtain the release of the Iranian nationals.

He also expressed hope that other Iranian pilgrims will be freed soon.

Iranians have been the target of abduction by unknown gunmen in Syria over the past few months.

On January 26, a group of unidentified gunmen attacked a bus carrying Iranian pilgrims on their way to Damascus and kidnapped 11 men.

Mehmanparast announced their release on February 7.

In December 2011, gunmen also abducted seven Iranian engineers and technicians in the restive Syrian city of Homs who have not been released yet.

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