Update: 12:40PM THE UN Security Council has called on "countries with influence" to press al-Qaeda-linked insurgents to release 45 UN peacekeepers from Fiji abducted last week in the Golan Heights.
A press statement approved by
all 15 council members after a briefing by UN peacekeeping chief Herve
Ladsous again demanded the immediate and unconditional release of the Fijian
Heavy clashes have raged in the Golan Heights since Syrian
rebels captured a border crossing between Syria and Israel near the abandoned
town of Quneitra last Wednesday.
Fighters from al-Qaeda's Syria branch, the
Nusra Front, abducted the Fijian peacekeepers and surrounded two Filipino
contingents serving in the UN force known as UNDOF the following day.
The Security Council welcomed the news that all the Filipinos were
safe and commended the UN peacekeeping mission's quick reaction force for its
Ladsous told reporters the peacekeepers have shown 'steadfastness and courage' and said the UN is working to obtain
the swift and unconditional release of the Fijians.
"We are sparing no effort to obtain the release of the
detained peacekeepers," he said, but gave no details stressing the
importance of 'discretion'.