• Filipino peacekeeper wounded in Golan Heights fighting

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    A Philippine UN peacekeeper in the Golan Heights was wounded by shrapnel Thursday amid fighting between Syrian government and rebel forces, the Filipino military said.

    “Currently, he is being treated by medics inside a shelter and is in stable and good condition,” a military statement said.

    Shrapnel hit the soldier just above the right ankle, it added.

    News of the casualty came a month after the Philippine government said it may withdraw from the UN peacekeeping force in the Golan Heights because of security concerns, following earlier abductions of Filipino troops by rebels.

    The military statement said “wayward indirect fire” landed at the UN peacekeepers’ Camp Ziouni at 0545 GMT.

    The camp is located between three and four kilometers (1.9-2.5 miles) away from the fighting, it added.

    Philippine military spokesman Brigadier-General Domingo Tutaan told AFP the 340 Filipino peacekeepers will remain in the Golan Heights pending a government decision on the UN mission.

    He said as far as he knew, the government had yet to make a final decision.

    The UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) has been monitoring a ceasefire in the Golan Heights between Israel and Syria since 1974.

    It has about 1,000 peacekeepers and civilian staff from Austria, India, Morocco and Moldova, as well as the Philippines.

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