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Under cover of darkness, 40 Filipino peacekeepers escaped their besieged outpost in the Golan Heights after a seven-hour gun battle with Syrian rebels,. Al-Qaida-linked insurgents still hold captive 44 Fijian troops. The getaway, combined with the departure of another entrapped group of Filipino troops, marked a major step forward in a crisis that erupted on Thursday when Syrian rebels began targeting the peacekeeping forces. The United Nations Security Council has condemned the assaults on international troops, and demanded the unconditional release of those still in captivity.



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