Canadian UN advisor freed from Syria
Oct 17, 2013 / 7:39 am
A Canadian believed to have been held by a rebel group in Syria has been freed, CTV News has confirmed.
Carl Campeau went missing in February in the Golan Heights along the Syrian-Israeli border. He had been working at the time as a legal adviser to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), which has been monitoring the area since 1974.
According to a UN spokesperson in New York, Campeau is in good health and has been transferred from Syria's Foreign Ministry to a UN representative in Syria. The spokesperson did not reveal Campeau's whereabouts.
At the time of the abduction, the Times of Israel reported that Campeau had been stationed at a UN base on the Syrian side of the demilitarized zone separating Israel and Syria, an area that rebels took control of after Syrian forces abandoned the area.
Reuters reports that sources told them at the time of Campeau's disappearance he had been taken by a rebel brigade and held for ransom.
It's not clear how Campeau's release was secured.
A spokesperson for Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development says the department is "thrilled" to learn of Campeau's release.
"We would like to extend our thanks to our colleagues at the United Nations for their efforts in securing Mr. Campeau's release," DFATD spokesperson Jean-Bruno Villeneuve said in an emailed statement.
"His ordeal is a reminder to all Canadians of the incredibly dangerous situation in Syria. Canada continues to advise Canadians to avoid all travel to Syria."
He added that the Canadian ambassador to Lebanon has already spoken with Campeau to offer him whatever support he requires.
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