Wednesday, December 13, 2017
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UN peacekeepers held by fighters near Syria

The United Nations has said about 20 peacekeepers had been detained by an armed group in the occupied Golan Heights on the border between Syria and Israel.

The United Nations confirmation came on Wednesday in response to videos posted online that purported to show fighters with the seized convoy.

A young man, who claimed to be part of the "Martyrs of Yarmouk" brigade, appeared in a video saying the convoy would not be released by his group until Syrian government forces withdrew from the Syrian village of Jamla, located near the Golan Heights.

"If no withdrawal is made within 24 hours we will treat them as prisoners," he said, accusing them of collaborating with security forces to push the rebels out of Jamla.

Israel occupied the Golan Heights from Syria in a 1967 war.

Syrian troops are not allowed in the area of separation under a 1973 ceasefire formalised in 1974. The region is patrolled by UN peacekeepers.

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