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UN Peacekeepers Freed At Jordanian Border
A group of UN peacekeepers captured by Syrian rebels have been handed to Jordanian authorities at the border.
The 21 Filipino peacekeepers were captured by the Martyrs of Yarmouk brigade on the Syrian side of the border south of the village of Jamla, near the Golan Heights, three days ago.
"They are all on the Jordanian side now and they are in good health," Abu Mahmoud, a rebel who scrossed over into Jordan with them, said.
In the Syrian capital, Mokhtar Lamani, who heads the Damascus office of UN-Arab League mediator Lakhdar Brahimi,confirmed the men had crossed into Jordan.
The group were part of the UN Disengagement Observer Force, which has been monitoring a ceasefire line between Syria and Israel in the Golan Heights since 1974.
After their capture the rebel fighters described them as "guests" and said they would be freed once President Bashar al Assad's forces stopped shelling and withdrew from around Jamla.
In several videos released by the rebel group the peacekeepers said they were being treated well.
Syria's ambassador to the UN, Bashar Jaafari, said the army was targeting areas outside Jamla where he rebels were concentrated, rather than the village itself.
"We know for sure what we are doing and we know where the peacekeepers are," he said.
A brief truce was called in the area on Saturday morning, providing a sufficient lull in fighting to get the peacekeepers out.
Syria's civil war has spilled periodically across the Golan Heights ceasefire line and Syria's borders with Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey.