Abducted BBC reporter allegedly executed
Apr 16,2007 00:00 by UPI

JERUSALEM - An online statement found Sunday that was signed by the Palestinian Jihad and Tawheed Brigades alleges BBC reporter Alan Johnston has been executed.

YNetNews reported that the Internet statement it obtained Sunday alleges the al-Qaida affiliated Palestinian organization executed the abducted journalist in response to the actions of the British and Palestinian governments.

"Our demand was that all of those who are responsible for the journalist ... release our prisoners who are being held in the prisons of the occupation," the online message said.

"The whole world made so much noise about this foreign journalist, while it took no action over our thousands of prisoners."

The group also said it plans to release a video of the alleged execution soon.

A statement from the BBC confirmed the broadcaster had heard the news regarding Johnston, but was waiting for official confirmation.

Meanwhile, Kuwait's news agency, KUNA, reported that senior Palestinian official Saeb Oreikat denied the report Sunday, calling it a simple case of rumors and alleging his government was working toward garnering Johnston's release.

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