BBC reporter 'kidnapped in Gaza'

The British Broadcasting Corporation's correspondent in the Gaza Strip is reported to have been kidnapped by armed men.

BBC reporter 'kidnapped in Gaza'
Alan Johnston was snatched from a car on Monday, Palestinian security sources said.
 
The AP news agency quoted officials saying his business card was found at the scene of the abduction and his rental car was found abandoned.
 
Four men in a white Subaru vehicle stopped his car and forced him out before driving off with him, they said.
 
Simon Wilson, the bureau chief for the BBC in Jerusalem, said they had lost contact with Johnston but did not confirm he had been kidnapped.
 
Johnston, a Scot and British citizen, has been working as the Gaza correspondent for the state-funded British broadcaster for three years. 

The British embassy said they were investigating the reported kidnap.
 

The last foreigner to be kidnapped in Gaza was a Peruvian photographer from the French news agency, Agence France-Presse, in early January.

 

The AFP photographer was released unharmed after nearly one week in captivity.

 

Johnston has been working with the BBC in Gaza for three years [File photo]

Kidnapping rife

Most news organisations have pulled their staff out of Gaza in recent years, as violence between rival factions has spiralled and crime and lawlessness has increased.

A Peruvian photographer was kidnapped in January and held for a week, while in October a photographer for the Associated Press was held for 15 hours.

 

Three-year posting

The BBC described Johnston as a "highly experienced and respected reporter".

"It is his job to bring us day after day reports of the Palestinian predicament in the Gaza Strip," said the BBC's diplomatic correspondent, Paul Adams, himself a former Middle East reporter.

Alan Johnston was born in Tanzania and educated in Scotland. He joined the BBC World Service in 1991 and has spent eight of the last 16 years as a correspondent, including periods in Uzbekistan and Afghanistan.

He became Gaza correspondent in April 2004 and his posting was due to come to an end at the end of next month.

 

Agencies

Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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