x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Three Iranian lorry drivers abducted in Syria

Three Iranian lorry drivers have been abducted by "armed opposition groups" in Syria, according to Iran's charge d'affaires in Damascus quoted by media today.

Three Iranian lorry drivers have been abducted by "armed opposition groups" in Syria, according to Iran's charge d'affaires in Damascus quoted by media today.

Abbas Golrou said the drivers, identified as Morteza Adeli, Hossein Alinejad and Esmaeel Mohammad Zeinali, were taking unspecified cargo from Iran to Syria when they were abducted on Monday.

"They entered Syria via Turkey on road, without consulting the embassy... They were attacked and abducted by armed opposition groups," Golrou said. Other Iranians have been abducted in Syria since late last year.

Several Iranian pilgrims who were kidnapped in December when travelling to holy Shiite sites in Syria have been released, though others remain captive.

Seven Iranian engineers were also abducted near central Homs city, where they worked at an electricity plant for Iran's Power Plant Projects Management Company, according to Iranian officials.

Two of them were released in mid-May. Syria, Iran's principal ally in the Middle East, is roiled by a year-long uprising that has seen more than 12,000 people killed. Rebels accuse Iran of helping Syrian authorities in their deadly crackdown.