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Iran says retired Guards among hostages held in Syria

The Iranian foreign minister has said a group of 48 Iranians abducted by rebels in Syria include a number of retired Revolutionary Guards and soldiers, BBC informs.Ali Akbar Salehi said they no longer had any military role and that they had been in Damascus for a pilgrimage when they were seized on Saturday.Iran has asked the United Nations to help it secure the release of the men. The rebels have accused them of carrying out a “reconnaissance mission” on behalf of Syrian government forces.In a video published on Sunday, Capt Abdul Nasser Shumayr of the Free Syrian Army’s al-Bara Brigade said that three of the captives had been killed in “fierce shelling” by security forces and threatened to execute the rest if the bombardment continued.He later told al-Jazeera TV that his brigade had “intelligence information” and “documents” showing that the group belonged to the Revolutionary Guards and had come to Syria to “serve the regime”.

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