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Israeli army kills two suspects in teen kidnapping

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Israeli soldiers have killed two of the men suspected of abducting and murdering three Israeli teenagers in June.

An IDF spokesman said Marwan Qawasmeh and Amer Abu Aisha were killed in a shoot-out when Israeli troops surrounded a building in the West Bank city of Hebron where they were hiding.

Israel identified Mr Qawasmeh and Mr Abu Aisha as key suspects shortly after the abduction of Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Shaar, both aged 16, and 19-year-old Eyal Yifrach.

The spokesman, Lt Col Peter Lerner said: "We opened fire, they returned fire and they were killed in the exchange."

The abduction of the teenagers was a trigger for the recent conflict in Gaza.

At first the military said it had only confirmed that one of the suspects had been killed and the other was also believed to dead.

Formal confirmation is expected after the secnd suspects’ body has been recovered.

Chief of Staff Lt Gen Benny Gantz said: "We promised the [teenagers'] families that we would find the murderers. This morning, we did just that.

"This isn't a consolation for the grieving families.

“But I hope that knowing we reached their children's murderers may slightly comfort them."

One of Mr Qawasmeh's relatives has already been charged with planning the teenagers' abduction.

The militant Islamist group Hamas originally denied being behind the killings but its political leader Khaled Meshaal later admitted its members had carried them out.

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