by Staff Reporter
June 6, 2013 (TSR) – A Filipino United Nations peacekeeper was wounded and hit by “a wayward indirect fire” at Camp Ziouni in ceasefire line Golan Heights on Thursday, the military said.
“Currently, he is being treated by medics inside a shelter and is in stable and good condition,” a military statement said.
The incident happened during a firefight between Syrian government and rebel forces, some three to four kilometers (1.9-2.5 miles) from Camp Ziouni at 7:45 a.m. (local time), 0545 GMT or 1:45 p.m. Philippine time, reported by local Filipino media.
Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala, Public Affairs Office chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said the soldier, whom he declined to identify, is a member of the Philippine Contingent to Golan Heights. He was hit by shrapnel just above his right ankle.
Camp Ziouni is the logistics base of the United Nations Disengagement Observers Force where the different peacekeeping missions are based. Some 300-plus Filipino peacekeepers are part of the 1,000-strong mission.
“The AFP continues to monitor the situation in the area; likewise we assure that the safety and well-being of our peacekeepers will remain a priority,” Zagala said.
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.
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.
The Philippine government is 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.