Foreign Ministry tackling problem of Russians' abduction in Syria - Lavrov

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has confirmed that two Russian citizens were abducted in Syria.

"Apparently, they are Russians. We are tackling this issue at the moment," Lavrov told journalists in Tashkent on Tuesday.

Italian news reports earlier identified the abducted persons as employees of a steel mill in the city of Latakia.

Russia's Embassy in Syria has already confirmed the abduction of two Russian citizens in this country.

"Three people - two Russians and one Italian - were kidnapped on the Tartus-Homs highway in Syria. All those abducted are employees of a privately owned Syrian firm," the diplomatic mission's press officer Sergei Markov told Russia's Channel One television over the phone on Tuesday.

"One of the Russians failed to register with consular authorities upon arrival in the country, and the second person is a citizen of both Syria and Russia," he said.

The Russian diplomatic mission is looking for the kidnapped people in close cooperation with the local authorities, the press officer said.

"The Russian Foreign Ministry once again confirms its strong recommendation that all Russian citizens refrain from visiting Syria, which is going through a period of intense internal armed conflict," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement published on its Web site on Tuesday.

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