Fijian Soldiers Say They Are Safe in Al Qaeda Film

Syria's Nusra Front rebel group releases video featuring 44 UN peacekeepers; group leader thanks rebels 'for keeping their word.'

Ari Soffer,

Nusra Front fighter in Syria
Nusra Front fighter in Syria
Reuters

Al Qaeda's official branch in Syria, the Nusra Front (Jabhat Al-Nusra), has released a video of 44 abducted UN peacekeepers amid signs they may be freed soon.

The video features an Arabic-language propaganda address by two Nusra Front spokespeople, as the Fijian peacekeepers sit cross-legged in silence behind them.

A member of the Fijian force then addresses the camera in English, and says he and his comrades are well.

He announced the date as Tuesday 9th September, and, flanked by his fellow soldiers says "it is a very happy say, we've been infomed that we will be release soon and we are very happy."

He adds that "we are all safe and alive, and we thank Jabhat Al-Nusra for keeping us safe and keeping us alive and I would like to assure you that we have not been harmed in any way."

The soldier, identified by the Fijian military as Captain Savenaca Rabuka, goes on to say that given Al Nusra's "limited resources, they have provided the best for us."

Rabuka ends his statement by thanking Nusra for "keeping its word" to release them.

The soldiers were abducted by Syrian rebels late last month during a still-ongoing offensive to seize the Quneitra region bordering Israel from regime forces, and are members of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) which was deployed to maintain the ceasefire between Israel and Syria following the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

The statement comes after false reports which claimed the soldiers were about to be released were detracted by the Fijian army.




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