Syria: Philippine peacekeepers in narrow escape

As 32 Philippine peacekeepers trapped by rebels in the Syrian Golan Heights were being rescued, another group of 44 Fijian peacekeepers were taken captive.

BBC reported that the Fijian members of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (Undof) were captured by the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front on Wednesday near Quneitra.

It happened as rebels and government forces were engaged in intense fighting.

An online statement posted by the Nusra Front said the Fijians "are in a safe place, and they are in good health, and that we have given them what they need of food and treatment".


Meanwhile the head of the Philippine Armed Forces said another 40 of its peacekeepers narrowly escaped a seven-hour siege by rebels.

"Everyone is in a safe position. We left our (old) position but we brought all our arms," said Philippine Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala.

The head of the Philippine armed forces, General Gregorio Pio Catapang, said: "We may call it the greatest escape."

But the Philippine government has had enough with the crisis in Syria deteriorating. All 331 of its peacekeeping troops will be heading home in October.