The Islamic Republic Consulate in Syria has confirmed that 11 Iranian pilgrims have been kidnapped.
The Mehr News Agency reports that the consulate has also warned Iranians against entering Syria by land.
Iranian Consul Abdolmajid Kamjoo announced that despite previous warnings, Iranian pilgrims are still entering Syria by land.
Kamjoo maintained that the victims of the latest kidnapping were civilians travelling with their families on a pilgrimage. He added that kidnappers are trying to insinuate that Iran is sending forces to Syria in connection with the recent unrest but he denied such allegations.
Iran’s head of the Red Crescent’s medical services for pilgrims, Ali Heydari, told ILNA that the incident occurred en route from Halab to Damascus, adding that “these pilgrims had travelled from Lorestan Province to Syria, and the kidnappers stopped their bus at 3:45 AM.”
Heydari said the bus was led off the road, where the women were told to hand over all their money and gold, while the 11 men of the group were kidnapped
The names of the victims have not been released yet.
Last week, Iran’s Foreign Ministry announced that 11 pilgrims were kidnapped in Syria. Last month, two Iranian engineers were also kidnapped in Homs, and another five Iranian engineers were kidnapped a week earlier in the same city.