SUVA, Fiji (TheBlaze/AP) — Al Qaeda-linked Syrian rebels have issued three demands for the release of 45 Fijian United Nations peacekeepers they’ve held captive for five days, according to Fiji’s military commander.
Brig. Gen. Mosese Tikoitoga said Tuesday that the Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front wants to be taken off the U.N. terrorist list, humanitarian aid delivered to parts of the Syrian capital Damascus, and compensation for three of its fighters it says were killed in a shootout with U.N. officers.
The U.N. has sent hostage negotiators to Syria, Tikoitoga said.
The Nusra Front abducted the Fijian soldiers Thursday morning and is holding them at an unknown location. The peacekeepers were captured Thursday in the Golan Heights, a day after rebels seized control of a border crossing between Syria and the Israeli-occupied territory, CNN reported.
The rebels also surrounded two Filipino units serving in the U.N. mission that monitors the buffer zone between Israel and Syria, but the Filipino troops escaped over the weekend.