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Apr 16,2007
BBC reporter's death still unconfirmed
by UPI

LONDON - British officials are attempting to confirm last weekend's online report that abducted BBC reporter Alan Johnston has been executed by a militant group.

The New York Times reported Monday that while the Tawhid and Jihad Brigades alleged to have executed Johnston in an e-mail on Sunday, both the BBC and the British government have yet to officially confirm that report.

The 44-year-old journalist had been the BBC's Gaza correspondent at the time of his abduction on March 12 by unknown assailants.

A spokesman for British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Monday government officials continue to seek information regarding Johnston's status.

"We continue to work closely with the Palestinian Authority and we are urgently seeking further information from them and other sources," the spokesman said.

Prior to the Internet statement, no group had taken responsibility for Johnston's abduction and no clear demands were made regarding his possible safe return.

The Times said the militant group now claiming responsibility for his death laid the blame for the execution on the British and Palestinian governments.

Copyright ©  2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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Related news
Abducted BBC reporter allegedly executed by UPI posted on Apr 16,2007

Spokesman for Johnston's captors arrested by UPI posted on Jul 02,2007

New tape related to kidnapped newsman by UPI posted on May 09,2007

BBC journalist in Gaza said still alive by UPI posted on Apr 19,2007

BBC correspondent missing three weeks by UPI posted on Apr 03,2007

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