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Philippines may pull troops from U.N. peacekeeping force

May 10, 2013 at 1:01 PM

MANILA, May 10 (UPI) -- The foreign minister of the Philippines says the country's soldiers should be pulled from a U.N. peacekeeping force stationed on the Golan Heights.

Alberto del Rosario said the four soldiers were abducted from the U.N. base and are being held as human shields, the BBC reported Friday.

Filipino soldiers account for 342 members -- about one-third -- of the peacekeeping force that patrols the border between Syria and the Golan Heights, which is occupied by Israel.

Syrian rebels kidnapped the soldiers Tuesday. Rebels in the same area abducted some 20 Filipino peacekeepers two months ago and held them for a few days.

Del Rosario said he had sent his recommendation to Philippines President Benigno Aquino. A presidential spokesman said Aquino was considering it.

U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky, a spokesman for the United Nations, said peacekeepers had been moved from the area where the Filipinos were taken.

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