9 January 2013, 14:21

Syrian rebels release 48 Iranian hostages

Syrian rebels release 48 Iranian hostages

Forty-eight Iranians held hostage by Syrian rebels since August and threatened with execution were released on Wednesday, Iranian state television reported.

The Iranians, among them several Revolutionary Guards members Tehran claimed were "retired", were freed in a deal exchanging them for 2,130 prisoners held by the Syrian regime, a Turkish charity told AFP. Iran insisted the 48 Iranians were all pilgrims visiting a Shiite shrine in southeast Damascus.

It denied any of them were on active service in Syria.

Voice of Russia, AFP


Russia notifies US of adoption agreement freeze

According to the US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland, Russia has notified the United States of its suspension of the Russian Adoption Agreement.

The Russian law in response to the US-approved “Magnitsky Act” came into force on January 1 and bans US foster parents from adopting Russian children.

Voice of Russia, RIA

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