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Captured soldiers’ kin meet pope

Relatives of two Israeli soldiers held by Hezbollah met Pope Benedict XVI to appeal for their release. Five members of the families of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, whose abduction by Hezbollah last July triggered a monthlong war, spoke to Benedict in a Vatican audience Wednesday. The pope, who already has called for the Lebanese militia to release the hostages or at least provide a sign that they are alive, was sympathetic to the families’ plight, Goldwasser’s father, Shlomo, said later. “We asked him not to stop the pressure he began to apply on the humanitarian front, the demand for a sign of life, for the boys to be treated properly,” Goldwasser said. “Of course he cannot be involved in the process of securing their release, but we asked that he not stop being involved in the humanitarian side of things.” Israeli investigators concluded that the two reservists were wounded during their capture and that one or both could be dead.