Syria takes bodies as part of Hezbollah-Israel swap

The 114 were among the bodies of 197 mostly Palestinian and other Arab fighters exchanged for remains of two Israeli soldiers last week in a deal mediated by the United Nations.

Syria takes bodies as part of Hezbollah-Israel swap
Syria received the bodies of 114 Arab fighters on Wednesday that were handed over by Israel as part of a prisoner exchange between the Jewish and the Lebanese Hezbollah group.

The 114 were among the bodies of 197 mostly Palestinian and other Arab fighters exchanged for remains of two Israeli soldiers last week in a deal mediated by the United Nations. Israel also released five Lebanese prisoners.

Hundreds of relatives greeted the bodies as they came on flatbed trucks through the Jedaideh crossing point between Lebanon and Syria. They were later paraded through the centre of Damascus.

Syrian nationals and Palestinians who grew up in refugee camps in Syria comprised around 100 bodies, which will be buried in Syria this week.

The rest will be transported to their countries of origin if their governments agree to take them in, said Talal Naji, a senior official of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, a Palestinian faction based in Syria.

The Damascus government, along with Iran, is a main backer of Hezbollah, which fought a war with Israel in 2006.

Reuters
Last Mod: 24 Temmuz 2008, 08:55
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