OUR SYRIAN CHRISTIAN CRUSADE ====================== NEWSDAY August 4, 2012 BEIRUT - (AP) -- In a brazen daylight kidnapping, gunmen snatched a bus filled with 48 Iranian pilgrims from a Damascus suburb Saturday as they headed to visit a shrine holy to Shiites, reported Iranian state television. The abduction was the largest single kidnapping of Iranians in Syria, where several smaller groups of Iranians have been snatched in recent months. It came as regime forces were pounding the neighborhood of Tadamon, on the southern outskirts of the Damascus, trying to uproot one of the last rebel-held areas in the city. The pilgrims had just left their hotel on Saturday and were headed by bus to the Sayeda Zeinab mosque, a holy shrine for Shiite Muslims in a suburb south of the capital, when they were taken, Iran's Arabic language, state-owned TV station al-Alam said, citing an official at the Iranian embassy in Damascus. The state news agency, in a conflicting report, said they were headed to the airport when they were taken. The report added that the location where they were being held was known, without giving any further details. Iran's English-language state station, Press TV, blamed "terrorists" for the abduction, echoing language used by the Syrian regime to describe the rebels in has been battling for the past 17 months in an uprising that has claimed 19,000 lives. ***"