Damascus, Aug 31 IANS | 7 months ago

A group of 40 Filipino UN soldiers abducted by Islamist militants in Syria's Golan Heights escaped Sunday.

Syrian rebels Saturday had surrounded two groups of Filipino soldiers working for a UN observer force, Al Jazeera reported.

Their escape came after another group of 32 Filipinos were rescued Saturday after a fierce battle with armed fighters.

Another group of 44 Fijian UN soldiers were captured by rebels Thursday at the Quneitra crossing, in an operation led by the Nusra Front, an Al Qaeda offshoot based in Syria.

The UN Saturday said the Fijians were safe and their captors stated they were taken "for their own safety", Al Jazeera said.

The troops are part of the UN observer force which has monitored the disengagement zone between Israel and Syria since 1974 following the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.

(Posted on 31-08-2014)

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