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China Daily Website

UNDOF convoy enters Syria to retrieve kidnapped peacekeepers

Updated: 2013-03-09 00:49
( Xinhua)

DAMASCUS - A convoy of UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) has entered the restive southern Syrian town of Jamla to retrieve as many as 21 peacekeepers snatched recently by rebel group in the area, the pan-Arab al-Mayadeen TV reported.

The TV said six vehicles entered the Jamla town, 1 kilometer from the occupied Golan Heights, to retrieve the Filipino peacekeepers who were taken into custody by rebel fighters a couple of days ago to bargain the withdrawal of the Syrian troops from the outskirts of the town.

The UN and Arab League have condemned the kidnapping and called for the immediate release of the UN soldiers. Yet, the details surrounding a possible deal are still vague with absence of official statements.

The kidnapping incident is the first of its kind since the conflict in Syria started almost two years ago. UNDOF was established by United Nations Security Council Resolution in 1971 to implement and oversee a ceasefire between archenemies Syria and Israel.