This article is from the archive of our partner .

Nearly three dozen United Nation peacekeepers from the Philippines were rescued from Muslim extremists on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights during a firefight on Saturday, the U.N. said.

Workers from the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) were taken from their position on Thursday morning. Another group of Filipino U.N. soldiers remains trapped by the Islamists in another nearby post. 

"All 32 Filipino personnel from this position have been extricated and are now safe," said the United Nations in a statement. The statement also noted that the remaining personnel at a different post were still under heavy fire.

In addition to the remaining Filipino workers, the fate of 44 Fijian peacekeepers, who were also taken by Islamists, is also unknown. 

Although the organization hadn't had any direct contact with the trapped workers, UNDOF was told the peacekeepers were being held for their own safety. "UNDOF has been informed that the intention behind those holding the peacekeepers was to remove them from an active battlefield to a safe area for their own protection," a statement on Friday said.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to