The United Nations has continued negotiating with anti-government rebels in Syria in an effort to release 44 peacekeepers detained by the insurgents last week.

Clashes erupted between the fighters from al-Qaida-linked Syrian rebels and the members from the UN peacekeeping force on August 30, after the militants surrounded their encampment, activists and officials said, as the international organization risked being sucked further into the conflict.

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The clashes came after the rebel groups, including the al-Nusra Front, overran a crossing near the abandoned town of Quneitra located on the frontier between Syria and Israel-controlled Golan Heights, where the Syrian government troops and the rebels had engaged in firefights for days.

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