UN peacekeepers to be released

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Syrian insurgents have agreed to release 45 United Nations peacekeepers this week without conditions, Fiji’s military chief said.

Brigadier General Mosese Tikoitoga said that Fiji has received word from UN headquarters in New York that the Nusra Front will release the men in the coming days without any conditions or demands.

The al Qaida-linked Nusra Front had earlier listed three demands for releasing the Fijian peacekeepers it took captive on August 28.

The group had demanded to be taken off the UN terrorist list, wanted humanitarian aid delivered to parts of the Syrian capital Damascus, and wanted compensation for three of its fighters it says were killed in a shootout with UN officers.

Brig Gen Tikoitoga said Fiji’s friendships it had built through peacekeeping over the years had contributed to the positive outcome.

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