- Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has called for Turkey’s intervention to secure the release of Iranian pilgrims abducted in Syria.
In a phone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu on Saturday, Salehi requested Ankara's immediate intervention to secure the release of abducted Iranian pilgrims.
Earlier on Saturday, 48 Iranian pilgrims who were traveling on a bus from Damascus International Airport to the shrine of Hazrat Zainab (AS) on the outskirts of Damascus, were abducted by armed insurgents.
In a statement released later on the day, Iran's Consulate in Syria said it is pursuing the fate of Iranian nationals in collaboration with the Syrian security organizations.
This is not the first time Iranians have been kidnapped by armed gunmen in Syria.
In January, a group of armed assailants attacked a bus and abducted 11 Iranian pilgrims on the road connecting Damascus to the northwestern city of Aleppo.
In December 2011, armed insurgents also kidnapped five engineers in the city of Homs while they were on their way to work at the city's Jandar power plant that is under construction by Iranian technicians.
Two other Iranians, trying to determine the fate of the engineers, were also abducted.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011.
Damascus says 'outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorists' are behind the unrest while the West and the opposition accuse the security forces of killing protesters.