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Kidnappers Demand Ransom for Russians Abducted in Syria

Kidnappers have issued ransom demands for two Russian citizens abducted in Syria, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

The Russian Embassy in Damascus confirmed the Russians' abduction late Monday, saying they were seized near the port of Latakia.

On Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry identified the two Russians as V.V. Gorelov and Abdessattar Hassoun, specialists working for the Hmisho Steel plant in the Hassia industrial zone near Homs, RIA-Novosti reported.

Both abductees also hold Syrian citizenship, the report said.

An Italian citizen identified as Mario Belluomo, a 64-year-old electrical engineer working for Hmisho Steel, was also abducted.

The unidentified kidnappers later called Hmisho Steel and demanded an undisclosed sum of money to release the three hostages, RIA-Novosti said.

Earlier reports said the three foreign nationals had gone missing in Tartus, a city located 90 kilometers from Latakia.

The Foreign Ministry has urged all Russian citizens to avoid traveling to Syria.

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