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Fiji retracts claim UN peacekeepers' release imminent

Members of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force cross with their armoured vehicles from the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights into the Syrian-controlled territory, on August 28, 2014Fiji on Wednesday retracted a claim that 45 UN peacekeepers being held hostage in the Golan Heights by Syrian Al-Nusra Front rebels were about to be released, blaming a communications mix-up. “I don’t think so… someone has misinterpreted,” government spokesman Dan Gavidi told AFP when asked if posts on official social media feeds on Wednesday morning trumpeting the impending release were correct. The peacekeepers, all Fijian nationals, were taken hostage two weeks ago when the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra fighters stormed a Golan Heights crossing. When quizzed about Suva’s claims of a breakthrough, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said he had “nothing new to report on the Fijians”.

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