Wednesday Dec 21, 201106:27 PM GMT
Iranian technicians kidnapped in Syria
Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:30PM
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Eight technicians, including five Iranian electrical engineers, have been reportedly kidnapped by unknown armed gunmen in the restive Syrian city of Homs.


In a statement issued by Iran's Embassy in Damascus, it was confirmed that the group of engineers was abducted en route to the 450-MW power plant they were involved in building in Homs at 6:30 a.m. local time.

The embassy statement further said that it is closely working with relevant Syrian authorities and organizations to determine the fate of the kidnapped Iranian nationals.

On December 15, Iran's Minister of Road and Urban Development Ali Nikzad announced the country's willingness to help fulfill the economic needs of Syria amid the US-led Western economic pressure on Damascus.

Homs has been the scene of recent unrest in Syria that originated in mid-March, with demonstrations being held both against and in favor of President Bashar al-Assad.

While the West and the Syrian opposition accuse the government of violence, Damascus blames ''outlaws, saboteurs and armed terrorist groups'' for the unrest that erupted in mid-March, insisting that it is being orchestrated from abroad.

In interviews with Israeli news outlets over the past few months, the Syrian opposition members have clearly expressed their vision for the future of Syria and their interest in establishing ties with the Tel Aviv regime.

Armed gangs have recently kidnapped many Syrian civilians and security forces in the city.

SF/MB/SS/HGH
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