Wednesday, May 15, 2013

NZ peacekeeper abducted in Golan Heights

16 MAY 2013, New Zealand:--

A New Zealand Defence Force peacekeeper has been released after a five-hour abduction from the Golan Heights, between Israel and Syria.

A New Zealand peacekeeper has spent five hours in captivity after being abducted in the contentious Golan Heights on the Israel-Syria border.

The army officer, one of eight New Zealanders serving as a United Nations military observer, was abducted from an observation post on the Golan Heights, on the border between Israel and Syria.

The Defence Force says the officer was abducted about 1am Israeli time on Wednesday (11am NZ time).The officer was held for five hours before being released unharmed and was back at their post.The Defence Force was trying to contact the officer\'s next of kin and said it would not comment further.

New Zealand\'s eight Defence Force personnel in the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO) in the Middle East work as military observers based in Israel and Southern Lebanon.

They work as individuals rather than as a group and are working for 12 months, six months each in two different countries.UNTSO\'s area of operation covers five countries: Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt.

The Golan Heights is internationally-recognised as Syrian territory but was captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War and is still administered by Israel.

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