A Syrian insurgent group has released a video claiming they are holding seven Iranian citizens hostage and calling for the government to release a rebel army officer and cease military operations in Homs.
Free Syrian Army says it captured five Iranian soldiers (AlJazeera video report)
The Farouq Battalion released the video showing seven unshaved men in black shirts sitting against a wall.
The insurgents identified five of the men as Iranian Army soldiers and the men shown in the video resembled photos of missing Iranians posted by Iran's semi-official Mehr news agency.
The rebels claimed the two other hostages were Iranian civilians.
Homs has been the center of a growing insurgency against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The United Nations says more than 5,000 people have been killed in the violence since March.
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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