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UN seeks to locate Fijian peacekeepers

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Update: 11:45AM UN officials shuttled along the rocky frontier between Syria and the Golan Heights on Friday, trying to establish the whereabouts of 44 United Nations peacekeepers seized by Al-Qaeda-linked militants inside Syria.

Israeli forces took up positions at Quneitra, a fortified crossing between Syria and the Golan, barely 400 metres from Nusra Front militants, who attacked a UN base on the Syrian side of the border on Wednesday and seized the 44 Fijians.

About 75 UN soldiers from the Philippines, all of whom serve with UNDOF, a UN force that has monitored the disengagement zone between Israel and Syria since the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, remain locked down in two camps on the Syrian side of the frontier, military officers in the Philippines said.

Officials from UNDOF, which has about 1200 peacekeepers from six countries operating in the zone, declined to comment as they left one of their compounds on Friday.

Israeli soldiers, including some redeployed from Gaza, prevented anyone moving too close to the border.

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