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Israeli soldier taken hostage by Palestians

Annan calls for immediate release of Israeli soldier taken hostage by Palestinians

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called for the safe and immediate release of an Israeli soldier taken hostage by Palestinian militants and urged all sides to avoid any further escalation and bloodshed “at this grave moment.”

In a statement issued by his spokesman, Mr. Annan said he was alarmed about the recent events in Gaza and Israel, and was following developments closely.

“He is concerned about the attack that took place yesterday, when Palestinian militants tunnelled from Gaza into Israel, and killed two Israeli soldiers and took another hostage,” the statement added. “He calls for the safe and immediate release of the captured soldier.”

The Secretary-General urged all parties “to exercise restraint at this grave moment, and to take all possible steps to avoid further escalation and bloodshed.”

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