TEHRAN - Eleven Iranian citizens were kidnapped while on a pilgrimage in Syria, the official IRNA news agency reported on Thursday, quoting an Iranian official.

"Their bus was on its way ... to Damascus when it was attacked in the central regions of Syria and 11 passengers were abducted," Iranian pilgrimage official Massoud Akhavan was quoted as saying by IRNA, giving no further details.

English-language Press TV said on its website that an armed group had kidnapped the men on the bus and "drove off to an unknown destination, leaving the female passengers in the vehicle".

It said the gunmen contacted the relatives of one of the kidnapped passengers in Tehran and demanded a ransom.

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