Kidnapping Of Alan Johnston
The kidnapping of Alan Johnston, a BBC journalist, by the Palestinian Durmush Hamula in Gaza City began on 12 March 2007 and lasted for nearly four months (114 days).
His captivity led to many protests in the Palestinian territories, as well as the British government meeting a Hamas member for the first time. On 15 April unconfirmed reports claiming that he had been murdered surfaced, later declared by Palestinian intelligence sources to be false. A tape claiming to be from Johnston's kidnappers surfaced on 8 May, leading to renewed hope that he would soon be released, and three weeks later a Hamas spokesperson spoke of his hope that Johnston would be freed quickly. Johnston then appeared in a video released online by his alleged kidnappers on 1 June.
Hopes were raised for his release in mid-June after Hamas took full control of Gaza and set a deadline for his release, but on 24 June a video of him wearing what he said was an explosive belt was released along with a warning that if attempts were made to rescue him by force it would be detonated. However, on 4 July, Johnston was freed, and left Gaza for Jerusalem.
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... Reaction to the news from around the world that Johnston had been freed was positive Johnston's father Graham described the family as being "absolutely overjoyed" after ... said in a statement that they were "delighted and extremely relieved" that Johnston had been freed safely, and thanked "all of those who worked tirelessly - here and in the wider Middle East - to ... said that he and the whole country would "welcome the news" that Johnston had been freed, while British Foreign Secretary David Miliband described abductions as "an abhorrent crime" and recognised ...
... In 2007 the group kidnapped the BBC correspondent Alan Johnston ... On June 25, 2007 a video was released by Army of Islam showing Johnston with an explosive belt around his waist, with a demands for the release of Muslim prisoners in British custody ... of Islam including its spokesman, Abu Muthana, and following threats of execution, Johnston was handed over to Hamas officials and released after 114 days in captivity ...
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