Monday, July 2, 2007

Suspect arrest in reporter kidnapping

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Hamas on Monday arrested the spokesman of a shadowy group holding British reporter Alan Johnston, a move that could give it a bargaining chip to secure the Briton's release.

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

But the group, whose formerly close relations with Hamas have soured, has demanded that Britain first release a radical Islamic cleric with ties to al-Qaida. It has vowed to kill Johnston if Hamas tried to free him by force.

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