12 Dec 2012

NZ soldier detained and released in Syria

2:53 pm on 12 December 2012

Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman says a New Zealand Army officer who was detained by armed men in Syria is safe and has returned to work.

The officer, who is serving as a United Nations military observer, was detained and released by the men on Monday.

Dr Coleman says the officer is part of the eight-strong Defence Force contingent supporting the UN Truce Supervisory Organisation in the Middle East.

He says the officer was questioned for about three hours, most likely by the opposition forces in Syria.

Dr Coleman says he was then released unharmed.