Negotiations continue for release of Filipino peacekeepers

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Brigadier General Domingo Tutaan. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) is still in “continuous talks” with the Syrian rebels who abducted four Filipino peacekeepers in Golan Heights.

Brigadier General Domingo Tutaan, spokesman for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, told reporters in a press briefing on Friday that the Philippine Battalion is closely coordinating with the UNDOF, but declined to provide other details as he said the AFP was “not at liberty to express or cite the talks that they have been undertaking or the demands.”

“…But UNDOF is there, discussing with this, with the rebel forces who have in custody the four soldiers,” Tutaan said.

Tutaan said the AFP was hoping all four soldiers would soon be released.

He said they have not received reports indicating the peacekeepers were in bad condition.

“So far what we believe is they are okay as far as where they are right now but again we will finally know when they, when we are able to get them back or when they are released,” he said.

The UN says the Filipino soldiers are unharmed and efforts to secure their release are underway.

Last March, 21 Filipino peacekeepers were also abducted in Golan Heights by Syrian rebels but were eventually released.

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