Iran asks Turkey, Qatar to help free pilgrims from Syria

August 5, 2012 11:09

DUBAI - Tehran has asked Turkey and Qatar to help secure the release of 48 Iranian pilgrims kidnapped in the Syrian capital Damascus, Iran's state news agency IRNA reported on Sunday.

The Iranian pilgrims were seized after visiting a popular Shiite shrine in Damascus on Saturday by an armed group.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Qatari counterpart Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani agreed to help seek the pilgrims' release during separate phone conversations with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, IRNA reported.

Several Iranians have been abducted in Syria since the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad began 17 months ago, and many have been released to Turkish authorities before returning to Iran, according to Iranian media.

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