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Besieged Filipino UN peacekeepers in Syria ready to use 'deadly force'

Published on Aug 30, 2014 1:48 AM
 
In this handout photo taken in October 2013 and released by Philippine Armed Forces public affairs office on August 29, 2014, shows officers and men of the 7th Philippine peacekeeping force bound for the Golan Heights posing for photos during their send-off ceremony at the army heradquarters in Manila. Heavily armed Philippine peacekeepers defied Syrian rebels on August 29 in a Golan Heights standoff hours after the gunmen disarmed and took hostage 43 Fijian soldiers there, Filipino authorities said. -- PHOTO: AFP

MANILA (AFP) - Seventy-five Filipino members of a UN peacekeeping force besieged by Syrian rebels on the Golan Heights are ready to use "deadly force" to defend themselves, their commander in Manila said Friday.

Talks were under way to free a separate group of 43 peacekeepers from Fiji who have been taken hostage by anti-Assad fighters, officials said.

The United Nations Security Council "strongly condemned" the assaults against the peacekeepers, which it said were carried out by "terrorist groups and by members of non-state armed groups".

The Filipino peacekeepers trapped at two posts on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights were prepared to fight back rather than surrender, their commander in Manila said.

 
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