Hamas arrests spokesman of BBC reporter's captors

Hamas on Monday arrested the spokesman of a shadowy group holding British reporter Alan Johnston.

Hamas arrests spokesman of BBC reporter's captors

Hamas on Monday arrested the spokesman of a shadowy group holding British reporter Alan Johnston.

Hamas has demanded that the Army of Islam free Johnston, who was kidnapped on a Gaza City street on March 12.

But the group has demanded that Britain first release a cleric. It has vowed to kill Johnston if Hamas tried to free him by force.

The Army of Islam threatened to release what it said were damaging documents about Hamas if its spokesman, Abu Khatab al-Maqdisi, wasn't freed. It also kidnapped 10 members of Hamas.

Al-Maqdisi was arrested while trying to fire on members of a Hamas-allied security force, said Sami Abu Zuhri, a senior Hamas official. The Army of Islam said in a statement that its spokesman was leaving early morning prayers.

Abu Zuhri denied any link between al-Maqdisi's arrest and efforts to free Johnston.

Al-Maqdisi, he said, "was arrested in a gunbattle."

Last Mod: 02 Temmuz 2007, 15:27
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