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UK welcomes release of kidnapped BBC reporter (2)
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19:38, July 04, 2007

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On Wednesday, the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) said that Alan Johnston has been released.

"He was freed following an agreement with his kidnappers and he is in good health," Hamas said in a statement.

After his release, Johnston was taken to the home of former Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya of Hamas in a refugee camp in Gaza City, where he was received by his colleagues.

Meanwhile, Hamas'' exiled leader Khaled Meshaal, who is based in the Syrian capital of Damascus, said Johnston''s release showed that his group was bringing order to the Gaza Strip since it seized control of the area.

A radical group calling itself the Army of Islam claimed responsibility for kidnapping Johnston on March 12 and demanded that Britain free al Qaida leaders in exchange of the release of the reporter.

Hamas had demanded Johnston''s freedom since it seized control of Gaza last month.

In recent days, the Army of Islam and Hamas exchanged prisoners during negotiations to free Johnston.

Source: Xinhua
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