IDF Soldier Goes Missing During Training

Elite unit soldier goes missing during nighttime training session; helicopter assists search; 'personal reasons' may be behind disappearance

IDF and police forces have launched an extensive search Thursday morning for an IDF combat soldier who went missing during an advanced training session in a southern forest.

An elite IDF unit held a training session in the area overnight, with troops being deployed in the area individually. Around 5 am Thursday, it turned out that one of the soldiers who took part in the session did not return.

The training session was promptly stopped and IDF forces were called in to scour the area. An IDF helicopter is assisting the troops.

A tracking device carried by the soldier stopped transmitting signals in the early morning hours. The device is used to keep track of the soldiers' whereabouts during training exercises.

The soldier's family was briefed about the incident and army representatives are keeping it up to date as the search goes on. After receiving information from his parents, the IDF believes he may have disappeared for personal reasons. The chances of abduction are thought to be low

Meanwhile, the southern district of the Israel Police asked the public's help in locating the missing soldier.

IDF officials estimate that the soldier did not disappear because of dehydration, as the training session took place overnight. However, at this time the IDF is not discounting any possibility and is continuing to search the entire area using troops from the missing soldier's unit, as well as other soldiers.

The Haruvit Forest where the incident took place is located on the western limit of the Judea coastal plain, near the communities of Kfar Menachem, Gefen, and Tirosh. -YNET

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