U.N. Filipino peacekeepers held by Syrian rebels ‘freed,’ says ministry

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Four Filipino U.N. peacekeepers who had been seized by Syrian rebels last week were freed, the Philippines’ foreign minister said on Sunday.

The peacekeepers had been captured on the ceasefire line between Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

The four had been released and the Philippines will issue a statement later in the day, Philippine Foreign Minister Albert del Rosario confirmed to Reuters.

The rebel Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade had said they were holding the peacekeepers for their own safety after clashes in the area had put them in danger.

The four had been detained as they were patrolling close to an area where 21 Filipino observers were held for three days in March by the same group.

An Israeli official in Jerusalem told Reuters: “From what I understand, they were returned to the U.N. position they were abducted from.”

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