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21 U.N. peacekeepers cross freed by Syrian rebels

(Reuters) Twenty-one United Nations peacekeepers held by rebels for three days in southern Syria crossed into Jordan on Saturday, after an ordeal which highlighted how Syria’s civil war is ratcheting up tensions on its volatile borders.

The Filipino peacekeepers – part of the U.N. Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) that has been monitoring a ceasefire line between Syria and Israel in the Golan Heights since 1974 – were seized by the Martyrs of Yarmouk rebel brigade on Wednesday.

They were taken by the rebels on Saturday to the Jordanian border, about 10 km (6 miles) south of the village of Jamla where they had been held since being captured.

“They are all on the Jordanian side now and they are in good health,” said Abu Mahmoud, a rebel who said he had crossed over into Jordan with them.