12 Sep 2014

Freed Fijian soldiers now in Israel

8:38 am on 12 September 2014

The 45 United Nations Fijian soldiers released by Syrian rebels are in Israel undergoing medical and psychological tests, following their ordeal.

The soldiers, who were part of a UN peacekeeping force, were seized in the Golan Heights two weeks ago by rebels from the al-Nusra Front, which has links to al-Qaeda.

The Israeli military says Thursday night it opened a border crossing and the 45 Fijians were driven into Israeli territory and released.

Our correspondent, Ricardo Morris, who was at a briefing in Suva, says the Commander of the Fiji army, said the soldiers were happy to be in Israel.

"They were having a kava session and enjoying some singing. He said they were in high spirits and they were well treated."

A Fiji correspondent, Ricardo Morris.

Despite earlier demands by al-Nusra, the UN says no ransom was requested and none was paid.

Fiji soldiers

Fiji soldiers Photo: AFP