Syrian rebels demand $700,000 for hostages


Syrian abductors of two Russian citizens and an Italian national have demanded a ransom of over $700,000 for their release, the Kommersant daily said.

The three were abducted Dec 17 near the western Syrian port city of Latakia while travelling along the Tartus-Homs highway.

A diplomatic source in Moscow told Kommersant that the demand is around 50 million Syrian pounds (over $700,000).

The Russian foreign ministry has identified the Russians as V. Gorelov and Abdessattar Khassun, who also holds a Syrian passport, and confirmed that Italian Mario Belluomo was abducted with them.

All three work for the Hmisho steel company’s plant near Homs. The company received a telephone demand from unidentified individuals for payment as a condition for their release.

Kommersant said the hostages were abducted by one of Syria’s opposition groups.

Earlier, Haitham al-Maleh, a leader of the Syrian opposition abroad, told Al Jazeera that Russians are a “legitimate” target for Syrian militants as Russia supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.


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Created On 2012-12-21

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