GAZA (Reuters) – Alan Johnston, the BBC journalist held hostage in the Gaza Strip, was freed on Wednesday by a clan group that kidnapped him in March.
Following are kidnappings of foreign journalists and journalists working for foreign news organizations in the Palestinian territory over the past two years:
Jan 8, 2005 – Two Spanish reporters, Ramon Lobo and Carmen Secanella, are briefly abducted by Palestinian militants.
Aug 15 – Gunmen abduct journalist Mohammad Ouathi, a French citizen of Algerian origin. He is freed a week later.
March 15, 2006 – The last of a group of foreign hostages kidnapped during a wave of violence are freed. Militants angered at an Israeli raid on a West Bank jail seized the two French nationals and a South Korean a day earlier. The three journalists were among nine foreigners snatched in Gaza and the West Bank.
Aug 27 – Two journalists working for U.S. Fox News are freed after being forced to convert to Islam. Correspondent Steve Centanni, an American, and New Zealand-born cameraman Olaf Wiig, 36, were held for two weeks.
Oct 23 – Spanish photographer Emilio Morenatti working for the Associated Press is snatched by four gunmen as he leaves a Gaza City apartment. He is released 12 hours later.
Jan 7, 2007 – Palestinian gunmen free Jaime Razuri, a Peruvian photographer for the French news agency Agence France-Presse, after holding him for almost a week.
March 12 – Alan Johnston, BBC correspondent in Gaza, disappears while driving. The Army of Islam, a little-known group, in May claims responsibility for abducting him. On June 1 his captors released an Internet video repeating their demand for Britain to free Muslim prisoners, particularly the Islamist cleric Abu Qatada.
July 4 – Johnston is freed in Gaza after a deal between the Army of Islam and ruling Hamas group.