Hamas pressures BBC reporter's abductors

Hamas fighters on Tuesday took up positions around the stronghold of the shadowy group holding a kidnapped British Broadcasting Corp. correspondent, stepping up the pressure to secure his release.

Hamas pressures BBC reporter's abductors

Hamas fighters on Tuesday took up positions around the stronghold of the shadowy group holding a kidnapped British Broadcasting Corp. correspondent, stepping up the pressure to secure his release.

Members of Hamas' 6,000-strong fighters moved onto high-rise rooftops and deployed in streets in the Gaza City neighborhood of the Doghmush clan. The large, heavily armed family leads the Army of Islam, a little known group that has been holding Alan Johnston for nearly four months.

Interior Ministry spokesman Khaled Abu Hilal said security forces "will not spare any efforts to free the British journalist." Hamas radio also broadcast a toll free phone number, urging people to call in any information about the case. Witnesses said at least four members of the Doghmush clan were detained by Hamas.

Since seizing control of Gaza last month, Hamas has demanded Johnston's release in an apparent bid to gain favor with the West.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum accused Johnston's captors of smearing the Palestinian people's reputation.

Last Mod: 03 Temmuz 2007, 18:15
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