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Dublin: 14 °C Tuesday 11 August, 2020

Kidnapped Fijian peacekeepers "will be released soon"

That’s according to the country’s Ministry of Information.

FILE: UN Peacekeepers
FILE: UN Peacekeepers
Image: AP/Press Association Images

A GROUP OF 45 UN peacekeepers from Fiji taken hostage in the Golan Heights two weeks ago by Syrian Al-Nusra Front rebels will be released soon, the Fiji government said.

“Fijian troops will soon be released. More details to follow,” the Ministry of Information said in a one-line statement on its official Facebook page.

Details of when the men will be released, and their wellbeing, were not immediately available.

List of demands

The Fijians were captured when rebels stormed a Golan Heights crossing.

Irish troops with UNDOF took part in a rescue mission to free some of the Filipino soldiers who were caught up in heavy fighting in the same area in late August.

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Fiji army chief Mosese Tikoitoga had said the rebels wanted their organisation, the Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front, to be removed from the UN’s list of terrorist organisations.

He said they also wanted humanitarian aid sent to a small town which is an Al-Nusra stronghold just outside Damascus and were demanding compensation for three of their fighters who had been hurt in recent days.

- © AFP, 2014 with reporting by Aoife Barry

Read: Syrian troops and Islamist rebels exchange fire near peace line in Golan Heights>

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