DAMASCUS, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Three missing opposition figures have been kidnapped by "terrorists," Syria's Information Ministry said on Friday evening.
In a brief statement, the ministry said three members of the oppositional National Coordination Body (NCB) had been kidnapped by "terrorists" on the international airport's road in Syria's capital of Damascus.
The ministry said the authorities had unleashed a wide-scale investigation and called on the kidnappers to release the figures.
The Damascus-based NCB said it had lost contact with three of its members who paid a visit to China earlier this week and arrived at the international airport of Damascus on Thursday.
Five of its members left the airport in two cars, one of which disappeared and the communication with its occupants was cut, according to the NCB.
The missing members are Abdul-Aziz Khair, head of the body's foreign relations, Aias Aiash, a member of the executive office, and Maher al-Tahhan, who picked the two up from the airport.
The NCB said it could not get hold of the party responsible for the kidnapping, adding that it had informed a number of foreign embassies and national figures in and outside the country in hopes of knowing what happened to them.
No party claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, but it came apparently to hinder the start of the National Salvation Conference slated for Sept. 23. The conference is expected to bring together a considerable number of opposition figures from both in and outside Syria who hope to craft a solution to the protracted crisis.