Captors Threaten to Kill Kidnapped BBC Reporter

Video shows Johnston wearing explosive belt
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2007 7:15 AM CDT
Captors Threaten to Kill Kidnapped BBC Reporter
Reporter Without Borders (RSF) militants stage a protest near the Eiffel Tower in a show of solidarity with kidnapped British journalist Alan Johnston, in Paris, Wednesday, June 20, 2007. Intensive negotiations are underway toward freeing British Broadcasting Corp. journalist Alan Johnston, who was...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – A newly released video shows kidnapped BBC reporter Alan Johnston wearing an explosive belt that his captors say will be detonated if a rescue attempt is made. The video deflates hope that Hamas would be able to negotiate Johnston's release after taking control of the chaotic Gaza strip. Johnston's family has released a statement saying that they are "concerned and distressed."

Hamas had been asked not to try to free Johnston by force over fears for his safety, but negotiations had been taking place, and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh had publicly called for Johnston's release. A group called the Army of Islam has taken credit for the kidnapping, and is demanding the release of a radical cleric from a British prison. (Read more Alan Johnston stories.)

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