Iran's foreign ministry says 11 Iranian pilgrims have been kidnapped by an unknown group in Syria, which has been swept by civil unrest.
Tehran is calling on the Syrian government to "use all means" to help secure their release.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on January 26 that the 11 Iranian citizens were travelling by road to Damascus when they were abducted.
In a similar incident in late December, seven Iranian engineers were kidnapped in the Homs region of central Syria -- a hub of unrest and government crackdowns that have beset the Arab state since March.
Syria is Iran's main ally in the Arab world.
Antiregime circles have accused Tehran of aiding the regime's crackdown on dissent.
compiled from agency reports
Copyright (c) 2012 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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