A senior Iranian lawmaker has advised the Islamic Republic’s citizens to refrain from traveling to Syria individually and use Iran's formal caravans.
These [abducted] pilgrims traveled to Syria on personal and non-official trips, and were not on Iran's formal caravans, member of Iran's Majlis Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy Kazem Jalali said on Sunday.
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.
Meanwhile, Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi called on his Turkish and Qatari counterparts Ahmet Davutoglu and Hamad bin Jasim bin Jabir Al Thani to assisst in securing the release of the hostages.
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.