Fijian Peacekeepers Released, Expected to Cross into Israel

September 11, 2014  

44 Fijian UN peacekeepers have been released by Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front in Syria, according to Al Jazeera.

The soldiers are scheduled to cross into Israel later today, from where they will be transported back home.

The report comes not long after a video of the captives – apparently filmed two days ago – was released, in which one of the Fijian soldiers announces their imminent release, and says all are alive and well.

“We are all safe and alive, and we thank Jabhat Al-Nusra for keeping us safe and keeping us alive and I would like to assure you that we have not been harmed in any way,” says the soldier, identified by the Fijian military as Captain Savenaca Rabuka.

The soldiers were abducted by Syrian rebels late last month during a still-ongoing offensive to seize the Quneitra region bordering Israel from regime forces, and are members of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) which was deployed to maintain the ceasefire between Israel and Syria following the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

The video followed false reports which claimed the soldiers were about to be released were detracted by the Fijian army.

More to follow.

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