Al Jazeera says U.N. peacekeepers released in Golan

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Al Jazeera says U.N. peacekeepers released in Golan
These Are The UN Peacekeepers From Fiji That Were Captured by The Al-Nusra Front. #Syria #Iraq http://t.co/rF2GXP6UOf
In a picture taken from the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, a United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) convoy manoeuvres in the buffer zone as they are escorted by Syrian rebel fighters on a motorcycle near the Syrian village of Jubata Al Khashab on September 2, 2014. Al-Qaeda-linked Syria rebels who are holding more than 40 United Nations peacekeepers hostage in the Golan Heights are demanding they be expunged from a UN terror blacklist, Fiji revealed. AFP PHOTO/ MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
In a picture taken from the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, a United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) convoy manoeuvres in the buffer zone as they are escorted by a Syrian rebel fighter on a motorcycle near the Syrian village of Jubata Al Khashab on September 2, 2014. Al-Qaeda-linked Syria rebels who are holding more than 40 United Nations peacekeepers hostage in the Golan Heights are demanding they be expunged from a UN terror blacklist, Fiji revealed. AFP PHOTO/ MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
A United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) car enters the UN headquarters, in the demilitarised zone, near the Quneitra border crossing in the Israeli annexed Golan Heights on September 2, 2014. Al-Qaeda-linked Syria rebels who are holding more than 40 United Nations peacekeepers hostage in the Golan Heights are demanding they be expunged from a UN terror blacklist, Fiji revealed. AFP PHOTO/ MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
In a picture taken from the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, a United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) convoy manoeuvres in the buffer zone as they are escorted by Syrian rebel fighters on a motorcycle near the Syrian village of Jubata Al Khashab on September 2, 2014. Al-Qaeda-linked Syria rebels who are holding more than 40 United Nations peacekeepers hostage in the Golan Heights are demanding they be expunged from a UN terror blacklist, Fiji revealed. AFP PHOTO/ MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
A United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) convoy is escorted by an Israeli army vehicle on the border of the buffer zone near the Druze village of Buqaata in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights on September 2, 2014. Al-Qaeda-linked Syria rebels who are holding more than 40 United Nations peacekeepers hostage in the Golan Heights are demanding they be expunged from a UN terror blacklist, Fiji revealed. AFP PHOTO/ MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
Fiji says no word on location of UN peacekeepers seized by Syria militants http://t.co/pEnKhNcIuj http://t.co/x87CWdTn0U
#GolanHeights reports in Manila say #fiji peacekeepers held by Al Qaeda Nusra .#Filipino PKs refusing to disarm http://t.co/xblMTKuq66
Syria's Foreign Minister Walid Muallem (C) looks on following a press conference on August 25, 2014 in the Syrian capital Damascus. Any air strikes against jihadists in Syria must be coordinated with Damascus beforehand, Muallem said. AFP PHOTO / STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
DAMASCUS, SYRIA - AUGUST 24: Syrian people search for bodies of wounded and death Syrians after a bomb attack of Syrian regime forces on Syria's Zabadani region, close to the border with Lebanon in Damascus, Syria on 24 August, 2014. 10 people died during the bomb attack. (Photo by Yusuf al Bostany/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
DAMASCUS, SYRIA - AUGUST 24: Syrian people search for bodies of wounded and death Syrians after a bomb attack of Syrian regime forces on Syria's Zabadani region, close to the border with Lebanon in Damascus, Syria on 24 August, 2014. 10 people died during the bomb attack. (Photo by Yusuf al Bostany/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A Syrian living in Jordan shouts slogans against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a rally outside of the Syrian Embassy in the capital Amman, on August 21, 2014, as they gather to mark the first anniversary of a chemical weapons attack on the capital's Ghouta region, a stronghold of the rebel movement, which the United States estimated killed up to 1,400 people. Human Rights Watch said that hundreds of victims of a chemical weapons attack in Syria remained without justice one year on, days after Damascus's stockpile was completely destroyed. AFP PHOTO/KHALIL MAZRAAWI (Photo credit should read KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP/Getty Images)
US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (L) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey hold a press briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, August 21, 2014. Hagel warned that the Islamic State is more than a traditional 'terrorist group' and better armed, trained and funded than any recent threat. 'They marry ideology and a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess. They are tremendously well funded. This is beyond anything we have seen,' Hagel told reporters. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - AUGUST 18: Members of Syrian Islamic Front and Syrian opposition Mujahidin Brigade members guard to fight against the Islamic State (IS), formerly known Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) ,in Mari village, Aleppo, Syria on August 18, 2014. (Photo by Ahmed Hasan Ubeyd/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - AUGUST 17: A woman shows a photograph as more then thousand participants of several oriental christian groups gather to protest against the ongoing violence against their brethren in Iraq and Syria by ISIS fighters on August 17, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. Tens of thousands of Yazidis, who practice their own religion and are neither Christian nor Muslim have fled targeted violence from ISIS Muslim Sunni fighters in the region of northern Iraq that borders Syria and Kurdish regions. ISIS has targeted Christians and Shia Muslims as well. (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)
Demonstrators at a rally supporting Kurdistan hold placards protesting against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in front of the White House on August 16, 2014 in Washington, DC. Jihadists carried out a 'massacre' in the northern Iraqi village of Kocho, killing dozens of people, most of them members of the Yazidi religious minority, officials said on Saturday. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
DAMASCUS, SYRIA - AUGUST 15: A view of ruined buildings in El-Muleyha region of Damascus, seized by regime forces on previous day, in Damascus, Syria on 15 August, 2014. (Photo by Kasm Ebu Muhammed/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HANOVER, GERMANY - AUGUST 16: Ethnic Yazidi wave flags and protest against the ongoing attacks against Yazidi in northern Iraq on August 16, 2014 in Hanover, Germany. Tens of thousands of Yazidi, who practice their own religion and are neither Christian nor Muslim, have fled targeted violence from ISIS Muslim Sunni fighters in the region of northern Iraq that borders Syria and Kurdish regions. An estimated 90,000 Yazidi live in Germany, more than in any other country in Europe. According to offical police sources, more than 10.000 demonstraters participated in the rally. (Photo by Alexander Koerner/Getty Images)
THIS PICTURE WAS TAKEN ON A GOVERNMENT-GUIDED TOUR A Syrian government bulldozer clears the rubble and debris from a street in Mleiha on the outskirts of the capital Damascus on August 15, 2014. Syrian government forces retook the key town southeast of the capital on August 14, after a months-long battle against rebels, a military source and state television said. AFP PHOTO/LOUAI BESHARA (Photo credit should read LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)
THIS PICTURE WAS TAKEN ON A GOVERNMENT-GUIDED TOUR Two men walk past the debris of building in Mleiha on the outskirts of the capital Damascus on August 15, 2014. Syrian government forces retook the key town southeast of the capital on August 14, after a months-long battle against rebels, a military source and state television said. AFP PHOTO/LOUAI BESHARA (Photo credit should read LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)
THIS PICTURE WAS TAKEN ON A GOVERNMENT-GUIDED TOUR Syrian government forces gather around a map for instructions in Mleiha on the outskirts of the capital Damascus on August 15, 2014. Syrian government forces retook the key town southeast of the capital on August 14, after a months-long battle against rebels, a military source and state television said. AFP PHOTO/LOUAI BESHARA (Photo credit should read LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)
THIS PICTURE WAS TAKEN ON A GOVERNMENT-GUIDED TOUR Syrian government forces flash the victory sign as they walk in a street in Mleiha on the outskirts of the capital Damascus on August 15, 2014. Syrian government forces retook the key town southeast of the capital on August 14, after a months-long battle against rebels, a military source and state television said. AFP PHOTO/LOUAI BESHARA (Photo credit should read LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - AUGUST 18: Members of Syrian Islamic Front and Syrian opposition Mujahidin Brigade members guard to fight against the Islamic State (IS), formerly known Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) ,in Mari village, Aleppo, Syria on August 18, 2014. (Photo by Ahmed Hasan Ubeyd/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - AUGUST 18: Members of Syrian Islamic Front and Syrian opposition Mujahidin Brigade members guard to fight against the Islamic State (IS), formerly known Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) ,in Mari village, Aleppo, Syria on August 18, 2014. (Photo by Ahmed Hasan Ubeyd/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - AUGUST 18: Members of Syrian Islamic Front and Syrian opposition Mujahidin Brigade members guard to fight against the Islamic State (IS), formerly known Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) ,in Mari village, Aleppo, Syria on August 18, 2014. (Photo by Ahmed Hasan Ubeyd/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - AUGUST 18: Members of Syrian Islamic Front and Syrian opposition Mujahidin Brigade members guard to fight against the Islamic State (IS), formerly known Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) ,in Mari village, Aleppo, Syria on August 18, 2014. (Photo by Ahmed Hasan Ubeyd/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - AUGUST 18: Members of Syrian Islamic Front and Syrian opposition Mujahidin Brigade members guard to fight against the Islamic State (IS), formerly known Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) ,in Mari village, Aleppo, Syria on August 18, 2014. (Photo by Ahmed Hasan Ubeyd/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - AUGUST 18: Members of Syrian Islamic Front and Syrian opposition Mujahidin Brigade members guard to fight against the Islamic State (IS), formerly known Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) ,in Mari village, Aleppo, Syria on August 18, 2014. (Photo by Ahmed Hasan Ubeyd/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - AUGUST 18: Some of Syrians flee from Mari village due to the threat of ISIL in Aleppo, Syria on August 18, 2014. Members of Syrian Islamic Front and Syrian opposition Mujahidin Brigade members guard to fight against the Islamic State (IS), formerly known Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). (Photo by Ahmed Hasan Ubeyd/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ALEPPO, SYRIA - AUGUST 18: Members of Syrian Islamic Front and Syrian opposition Mujahidin Brigade members guard to fight against the Islamic State (IS), formerly known Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) ,in Mari village, Aleppo, Syria on August 18, 2014. (Photo by Ahmed Hasan Ubeyd/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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(Reuters) - Al Jazeera television said on Thursday the al Qaeda-backed Nusra Front group released U.N. peacekeepers it seized two weeks ago on the Golan Heights.

The group on Wednesday posted a video on its Twitter and YouTube accounts in which the hostages, from the South Pacific nation of Fiji, said they expected to be freed soon.

The head of Fiji's army said on Wednesday the Islamist militant group had dropped all of its demands to free the 45 hostages, but at least slightly back-pedalled later in the day as the situation appeared to deteriorate.

It was unclear whether the video, carried by the SITE monitoring service, was made before or after the confusion surrounding those comments, but a U.N. source earlier told Reuters that the militants had insisted on such a video as a condition for the peacekeepers' release.

"By the way, we are all safe and alive, and we thank Jabhat al-Nusra for keeping us safe and keeping us alive. I'd like to assure you that we have not been harmed in any way," one hostage, who was not identified, said, using the Nusra Front's full name.

"We understand that with the limited resources that they have, they have provided the best for us and we truly appreciate it and we thank them. We are thankful that Jabhat al-Nusra has kept its word and that we will be going home."

Syria's three-year civil war reached the frontier with Israeli-controlled territory last month when Islamist fighters overran a crossing point in the line that has separated Israelis from Syrians in the Golan Heights since a 1973 war.

The fighters then turned on the U.N. blue helmets from a peacekeeping force that has patrolled the ceasefire line for 40 years. After the Fijians were captured, more than 70 Filipinos spent two days besieged at two locations before reaching safety.

The Nusra Front had demanded compensation for fighters killed during the confrontation, humanitarian assistance for its supporters and its removal from the U.N. list of terrorist organisations.

Qatar, one country in the Middle East thought by the United States to have influence with the Islamist militant group, said Fiji had formally requested its assistance in freeing the hostages.

U.S. officials have said that Qatar played a critical role in persuading the Nusra Front to free American journalist Peter Theo Curtis last month, whom the front had been holding hostage since 2012.

Since independence from Britain in 1970, Fiji has sent more soldiers on U.N. peacekeeping missions than any other nation, on a per capita basis, which provides its stalled economy with much-needed hard currency and helps to bolster its global standing.

(Reporting by Yara Bayoumy in Dubai and Matt Siegel and Swati Pandey in Sydney; Writing by Nick Macfie; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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