Missing British ex-paratrooper found in Ukrainian drain was ‘accidentally shot’

The identity of deceased former UK soldier Daniel Burke was confirmed by DNA testing.

Missing British ex-paratrooper found in Ukrainian drain was ‘accidentally shot’
The identity of deceased former UK soldier Daniel Burke was confirmed by DNA testing (Picture: Central News; Matthew Pover; Facebook)

Authorities have identified human remains found in a drain in Ukraine as belonging to a missing British former soldier. 

Ex-paratrooper Daniel Burke, 36, of South Manchester, vanished on August 11. He had traveled to Ukraine as a volunteer fighter last year.

In September, Ukrainian investigators discovered a body in a drain on a firing range in Zaporizhzhia, some 15 miles from the frontline.  

DNA tests have since confirmed the body was that of Mr Burke. 

Australian-Algerian trooper Abdelfetah Nourine, a fellow volunteer, is reported to have told Ukrainian police he shot Mr Burke accidentally. 

Officials have not confirmed whether Mr Nourine has since left the country. 

Reports at the time of Mr Burke’s disappearance suggested that the British former paratrooper might not have been killed by Russian soldiers, but rather by his comrades-in-arms. 

Mr Burke was thought to have been at the centre of disputes and a target of jealousy due to the amount of money he received in donations as a volunteer fighter. 

Having served in Afghanistan with the British army, Mr Burke also fought against ISIS in Syria as a volunteer member of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units. 

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Pic shows Daniel Burke. collect pic An ex-British paratrooper has been accused of being a terrorist after fighting against ISIS with the Kurds and trying to set up a commune in Spain for former fighters, a court heard today (FRI). Daniel Burke, 32, from Manchester fought in the Middle East against the death cult with the YPG, a militarised wing of the Kurdish independence movement. He left the British Armed Forces in 2009 after two years service in a paratrooper regiment which saw him serve for one year in Afghanistan. SEE STORY CENTRAL NEWS
A former British paratrooper, Daniel Burke had previously fought with Kurdish forces against ISIS in Syria (Picture: Central News)

He is reported to have told fellow fighters in Ukraine he was receiving as much as £8,000 every month thanks to his online following and the support from a number of wealthy American patrons.

Greater Manchester Police have been working with Mr Burke’s family and representatives of the Ukrainian authorities throughout identification efforts. 

MATTHEW POVER (07971 184305). Collect picture of ex-para hero Daniel Burke (left) from Wythenshawe, Manchester, with his late friend Oliver Hall. Picture grabbed from www.thetimes.co.uk / COPYRIGHT UNKNOWN. Burke has just been released after 8 months in jail facing charges of supporting terrorism because he considered joining a charity supporting Kurds in Syria. Respect copyright law. Moral rights asserted. No syndication without prior consent.
Greater Manchester Police are now working with Ukrainian authorities to facilitate the repatriation of Mr Burke’s body to the UK (Picture: Matthew Pover)
Daniel Burke - British soldier missing in Ukraine. Pictured (back left) with his volunteer military group Dark Angels
The extent of Mr Burke’s online support, from which he’s thought to have received up to £8,000 a month in donations, is reported to have made him the target of jealousy from his fellow soldiers (Picture: Facebook)

Detective Superintendent Lewis Hughes, Lead for Disaster Victim Identification, said at the time the body was found: ‘This is an upsetting time for Daniel’s family, we have Family Liaison Officers in contact with the family and offering support.’

The force is now understood to be helping facilitate the return of Mr Burke’s body to the UK.

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