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Syrian abductors demand ransom

December 18, 2012, 12:46 UTC+3

The officials said the two kidnapped Russians were V.V.Gorelov and Abdessattar Hassu

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MOSCOW, December 18 (Itar-Tass) — The abductors of two Russians and an Italian in Syria have demanded a ransom for their release, Russian Foreign Ministry officials said on Tuesday.

The officials said the two kidnapped Russians were V.V.Gorelov and Abdessattar Hassu. Italian citizen Mario Belluomo was captured together with them Hassu also has Syrian citizenship.

The Russian Foreign Ministry warned all Russian citizens to refrain from visiting Syria which is going through the period of domestic armed conflict.

In the evening of December 17, unidentified persons kidnapped Russian citizens Gorelov and Hassu and Italian citizen Mario Belluomo who were driving in a car on the road from Homs to Tartus in western Syria. All the three were employees of the Hmisho and Co steel mill in the Hysia industry zone near Homs.

Gorelov reported arrived in Syria in early October to work under private contract.

Earlier on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow would take all the necessary measures in connection with the situation with the Russian citizens captured in Syria.

"We're actively working on it," Lavrov said, "of course, all the necessary moves are being made both in Syria and other states that might have influence upon the situation."

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