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2,130 people released by Syria in exchange of 48 Iranians


09:12, January 10, 2013

DAMASCUS, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- As many as 2,130 people were released from Syrian prisons in exchange of 48 kidnapped Iranians, a Turkish human rights activist told Xinhua Wednesday.

Shahin, an international relations and diplomacy coordinator of IHH humanitarian foundation in Turkey, told Xinhua that the 2,130 people include two Turkish nationals. He, however, denied reports that Turkish soldiers were among the released.

He said the main negotiators in the swap were his organization, Turkey, Iran, Qatar and the Syrian authorities.

He said the Turkish army had stated that "there is no single Turkish person detained in Syria," adding that there are only two Turkish citizens that were detained in Syria: a woman and a man captured in Latakia city.

In August, a total of 48 Iranians were abducted by Syrian militants in Damascus. Iran claimed them to be pilgrims, while the Syrian rebels alleged that they were Iranian military officials in Syria.

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