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Armed fighters seize 20 peacekeepers in Golan

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Armed fighters on Wednesday detained about 20 UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights between Syria and Israel, a UN spokesman said.

According to Syrian activists, the peacekeepers were from the Philippines, but the United Nations did not give the nationalities of the UN Disengagement Force (UNDOF) troops taken in the latest incident in the tense Golan zone.

UN deputy spokesman Eduardo del Buey told reporters the UN force had "reported that earlier today approximately 30 armed fighters stopped and detained about 20 peacekeepers within the area of limitation."

"The UN observers were on a regular supply mission and were stopped near observation post 58, which had sustained damage and was evacuated this past weekend following heavy combat in close proximity, at Al Jamlah," he added.

"The mission is dispatching a team to assess the situation and attempt a resolution," the spokesman said.

The United Nations has reported a growing number of incidents in the Golan zone, where it has had peacekeepers since 1974 observing a truce accord between Syria and Israel.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130306/armed-fighters-seize-20-peacekeepers-golan