Friday Jun 29, 201206:04 AM GMT
Two freed Iranian engineers abducted in Syria arrive in Tehran
Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:3AM
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Two of the Iranian engineers who had been abducted by armed rebels in Syria arrived in Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport after almost six months of captivity.


Iran's Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Thursday announcing that the two Iranian engineers - Sajjad Amirian and Kiomars Qobadi -- were freed following efforts by pertinent authorities.

“It is really difficult to describe my feelings. Our freedom was secured only with the help of Iranian officials and we are grateful for that,” Qobadi told reporters.

On May 16, another two Iranian engineers who had been abducted by armed rebels in Syria were handed over to the embassy of the Islamic Republic in Ankara. They flew to Iran and reunited with their families on May 17.

On December 2011, five Iranian electrical engineers were kidnapped in Syria after a group of unknown gunmen attacked their convoy in the city of Homs.

They were on their way to work at the city's Jandar power plant, which has been under construction by Iranian technicians for the past two years.

Two other Iranians, trying to determine the fate of the engineers, were also nabbed, and there has been no report on their whereabouts.

Speaking to reporters during a reception ceremony on Friday, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Hassan Qashqavi said four of seven Iranian engineers, who were working in Syria, have been freed so far.

He added that efforts are underway to free the other engineers who are still in captivity in Syria.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011. The violence has claimed the lives of many people, including security forces.

The West and the Syrian opposition accuse the government of killing protesters, but Damascus blames ‘outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups’ for the unrest, asserting that it is being orchestrated from abroad.

SF/AZ
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