Syria rebel video claims to show abducted Iranians

By ELIZABETH A. KENNEDY | August 5, 2012 | 6:42 AM EDT

This citizen journalism image taken on Friday, Aug. 3, 2012 purports to show Syrian rebels celebrating after taking over the Ansari police station in the northern city of Aleppo, Syria on August 3, 2012. (AP Photo) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS CITIZEN JOURNALIST IMAGE

BEIRUT (AP) — A pan-Arab television station has aired a video purportedly showing Syrian rebels with a group of Iranians abducted a day earlier just outside Damascus.

The footage shown Sunday on the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya shows men identified as the Iranians sitting on the ground surrounded by fighters who said they were from the "Baraa Brigades."

A rebel claims in the video that the captives include an officer of Iran's Revolutionary Guards and that the group was on a "reconnaissance mission."

Iran's state-run news agency SANA said the 48 abducted Saturday were pilgrims. It said Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi spoke on the phone with Turkish and Qatari foreign ministers and demanded their intervention to help release them.