Syria's Free Syrian Army has said Turkey mediated the release of 11 kidnapped Iranians, expressing gratitude to Turkey for its help and support for the rebel army.
Gunmen kidnapped 11 Iranian pilgrims heading to the Syrian capital from Turkey last Wednesday. The group of 35 pilgrims was traveling on a bus outside the central city of Hama when armed men ambushed the group.
The gunmen took 11 men, leaving behind women, children and elderly men, after taking the group's money and mobile phones from them. The pilgrims had been on their way to visit Shiite shrines in Syria, he said.
A statement released by the Free Syrian Army said on Monday that the rebel army released the 11 Iranians for humanitarian reasons after Turkey's mediation. The rebel army alleged that the Iranians were actually sharpshooters firing on protesters and linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
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