U.N.: 21 peacekeepers detained on Golan Heights
Posted: March 6, 2013 at 4:16 p.m.
UNITED NATIONS — Armed fighters linked to the Syrian opposition detained 21 U.N. peacekeepers Wednesday in the increasingly volatile zone separating Israeli and Syrian troops on the Golan Heights, a new escalation in the spillover of Syria's civil war.
The U.N. Security Council demanded their immediate and unconditional release.
The capture comes a week after the announcement that a member of the peacekeeping force, known as UNDOF, is missing.
Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, the current Security Council president, said talks are under way between U.N. officials from the peacekeeping force and the captors.
U.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous, who briefed the council behind closed doors, identified the captors as being from a group associated with the Syrian armed opposition, Churkin said.
"There was no fighting, according to his briefing to us," Churkin said. "My understanding is that they took over the trucks in which the UNDOF personnel was moving around."
Read Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.