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Israeli soldier's death proven by DNA samples from tunnel

Published on Aug 4, 2014 1:43 AM
Israeli soldier Hadar Goldin is seen in this undated family handout provided on August 2, 2014. Israel on August 3, 2014 declared dead the soldier feared abducted by Hamas Islamist militants in the Gaza Strip and said it would continue to fight even after the army completes destroying cross-border tunnels used by Palestinian fighters to attack its territory. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

JERUSALEM (AFP) - The Israeli army on Sunday confirmed the death of missing soldier Lieutenant Hadar Goldin by checking the DNA of parts of his body that were found in a tunnel.

Lt Goldin went missing in action on Friday following a deadly incident in southern Gaza on Friday morning in which two other soldiers were killed, with Israel saying it suspected he had been snatched by Palestinian militants.

The incident sparked a major bombardment of the southern city of Rafah and the surrounding area as troops sought to track him down in a display of firepower which killed 114 people in just 24 hours.

But early on Sunday, the army announced that Lt Goldin had been killed in action, with army spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner telling AFP he had been identified by his DNA. "What we know for sure was that one suicide bomber and at least three or four other gunmen came out of a tunnel. One blew himself up, killing two on the spot, and the others were shooting - they grabbed Hadar and snatched him down into the tunnel," he said. "We don't know if he was alive and wounded, or dead at this time. Only in the aftermath, with the forensic investigation, were we able to conclude that he was killed."

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