Captured Fijian peacekeepers released across the Israel border | Pacific Beat

Captured Fijian peacekeepers released across the Israel border

Captured Fijian peacekeepers released across the Israel border

Updated 12 September 2014, 10:08 AEST

A team of 45 Fijian peacekeepers captured by an al-Qaeda-affiliated rebel group in the Syrian Golan Heights have been released.

The United Nations has confirmed the release in a statement, saying all the peacekeepers are in a good condition.

Members of the al-Nusra Front captured the Fijians last month during clashes between rebels and Syrian government forces in the demilitarised zone.

The United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has welcomed news and says he appreciates the efforts of all concerned to secure their safe release.

Mr Ban says he has emphasized to all parties the impartiality of United Nations peacekeepers who are monitoring the Disengagement of Forces Agreement between Israel and Syria.

He says all parties must respect the mandate of the UN Disengagement Observer Force, its freedom of movement and the safety and security of its personnel.

Interim Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama spoke to the released peacekeepers this morning, calling them "heroes" in a public statement.

He says they are being released unharmed and will soon be in contact with their families.

Fiji Broadcasting Corporation journalist Vosita Kotoiwasawasa was at the media conference early Friday morning with the head of the Fijian armed forces, General Mosese Tikoitoga.

Presenter: Richard Ewart

Speaker: Vosita Kotoiwasawasa, journalist, FBC

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