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UN in talks over release of peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

March 07, 2013, 0:17 UTC+3

The ambassador did not tell if there were Russian citizens among the captured peacekeepers

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United Nations, March 6 (Itar-Tass) - UN officials are in talks over release of the peacekeepers captured in the Golan Heights by Syrian militants on Wednesday, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin told reporters. Churkin chairs the UN Security Council in March.

"At present, talks are underway between the UN Secretariat and the captors. We're hoping that the peacekeepers will be set free immediately, as the UN SC demanded," Churkin said.

He urged the countries and the organizations that have influence upon the Syrian Opposition, to ensure the release of the peacekeepers who were part of the UN Disengagement Observer Force /UNDOF/ in the Golan Heights.

The ambassador did not tell if there were Russian citizens among the captured peacekeepers.

Earlier, the UN Security Council denounced the militants' actions in a statement and demanded that they release the captives immediately and without preliminary conditions.

It was the second incident in the past few days. On February 26, the United Nations reported that an UNDOF peacekeeper was missing.

International forces were deployed in the Golan Heights in 1974, after the disengagement of Israeli and Syrian troops had been negotiated. As of December 31, 2012, the UN kept a contingent of 1,000 servicemen there.


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