Rebel fighters demonstrate with their fake weapons during a military display as part of a graduating ceremony at a camp in eastern al-Ghouta, near Damascus August 31, 2014. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh
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Heavy fighting erupted Monday between the Syrian army and Islamist rebels on the Golan Heights, where 44 peacekeepers from Fiji are being held by militants and scores of their fellow blue helmets from the Philippines escaped after resisting capture.Syria's three-year civil war reached the frontier with Israeli-occupied territory last week 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 also turned against the U.N. blue helmets from a peacekeeping force that has patrolled the cease-fire line for 40 years. Thirty-two were rescued from one outpost Saturday and 40 escaped from the other position early Sunday while rebels were sleeping after a seven-hour firefight.At least one tank belonging to the Syrian army was also involved and some rebels could be seen a few meters away from the frontier fence.
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