Alan Johnston released
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Alan Johnston released

BBC Gaza Correspondent Alan Johnston has been released by his captors after 114 days. The BBC and his family have issued statements, and Alan has appeared on BBC News 24 live at 3am via telephone. His parents Graham and Margaret Johnston said 'he looks great'.

The BBC said: "We are delighted and extremely relieved that our friend and colleague, Alan Johnston, has been released.

"This is wonderful news for his family, friends and colleagues – and everyone around the world who has shown their support for him over the past 114 days. We thank all of those who worked tirelessly – here and in the wider Middle East – to secure his freedom.

"We will be issuing further information in due course and in the meanwhile, would ask that people respect his family's privacy to allow them time to recover from this ordeal."

Graham and Margaret Johnston, and his sister Katriona said: "A short time ago, we received the news we've waited 114 days for — that Alan is free and is safe — and we are overjoyed.

"The last 114 days have been a dreadful time for us — but particularly for Alan. Through it all, we never lost hope. Alan had always told us of the friends he'd made in Gaza. We knew, in the end, they would be there for him.

"We've always known Alan was special. But the last 14 weeks have shown us how special he is to others — to his friends in Gaza, to his colleagues at the BBC, and to the listeners and viewers who've written in their thousands. Their support has buoyed us up through the darkest days. We've drawn our strength from them.

"We want to thank all those who've worked so hard to secure Alan's release — the people in Gaza, those in the wider Middle East region, as well as the Foreign Office and the BBC."

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0 0 462 04 July, 2007 Industry News 8:02 am 20077 Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

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