US seeks urgent Qatari, Turkish help to free Israeli soldier

RAMSTEIN, Germany (Reuters) - Fearing an escalation of violence in Gaza, United States Secretary of State John Kerry called on Turkey and Qatar on Friday to use their influence to secure the release of an Israeli soldier whose reported abduction led to the collapse of a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Mr Kerry called Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohammed al Attiyah and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu soon after an aide informed him of reports of the abduction, and the killings of two Israeli soldiers, while flying back from a visit to India.

The incidents led to the quick breakdown of a ceasefire Mr Kerry had worked hard to broker.

"We have urged them, implored them to use their influence to do whatever they can to get that soldier returned," a senior State Department official told reporters traveling with Mr Kerry."Absent that, the risk of this continuing to escalate, leading to further loss of life is very high."

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