UN: 45 Fi­jian peace­keep­ers freed in Syria

The Covington News - - WORLD -

BEIRUT (AP) — Al-Qaida-linked Syr­ian mil­i­tants on Thurs­day re­leased all 45 Fi­jian peace­keep­ers they had held cap­tive for two weeks, bring­ing an end to a cri­sis that en­snared the U.N. mon­i­tor­ing force in the chaos of Syria’s civil war.

Fight­ers from the Nusra Front cap­tured the Fi­jian troops late last month in the Syr­ian-con­trolled side of the Golan Heights, where a 1,200-strong U.N. force pa­trols the dis­puted buf­fer zone be­tween Syria and Is­rael. The area along the fron­tier has since been en­gulfed in heavy clashes be­tween the mil­i­tants and the Syr­ian mil­i­tary.

All 45 peace­keep­ers “are in good con­di­tion” and were be­ing taken for a quick med­i­cal as­sess­ment, a U.N. state­ment said.

The Fi­jians were taken hostage the same day that nearly 80 Filipino peace­keep­ers were trapped by Syr­ian op­po­si­tion fight­ers. The Filipino peace­keep­ers later es­caped.

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