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Philippine UN peacekeepers safe after 'greatest escape'

Members of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) drive their armoured vehicles in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights near the Quneitra crossing, the only border crossing between Israel and Syria, on August 30, 2014Dozens of Filipino UN peacekeepers performed the “greatest escape” from besieging Syrian rebels, slipping away under the cover of night after rebels rammed their Golan Heights outpost with armed trucks, the Philippine military said Sunday. All 75 soldiers serving with a United Nations peacekeeping force in the Middle East flashpoint zone reached safety after the rebels, some linked to Al-Qaeda, surrounded them and demanded their weapons on Thursday, military chief General Gregorio Catapang said. The troops are part of a UN peacekeeping force which has been stationed in the Golan Heights since 1974 to monitor a ceasefire between Israel and Syria. We left our (old) position but we brought all our arms,” said Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala.

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