DOZENS of Filipino UN peacekeepers escaped from besieging Syrian rebels, slipping away during the night from their Golan Heights outpost, the Philippine military said today.
All 75 soldiers serving with a United Nations peacekeeping force reached safety after Nusra Front rebels surrounded them on Thursday.
Syrian government forces fired artillery rounds from a distance at one point to prevent the Filipino peacekeepers being overwhelmed, said a Philippines military official.
But, the fate of 44 UN peacekeepers from Fiji remained unknown after they were taken captive by rebels.
An initial group of 35 Filipino troops were picked up by Irish UN soldiers in armoured vehicles on Saturday.
The remaining 40 soldiers engaged in a “seven-hour firefight” with rebels who tried to ram the gates with pick-up trucks.
The soldiers held off the rebels and later walked to safety at a UN position just over two miles away.