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    Captors set terms for U.K. reporter's release

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    The abductors of a BBC reporter have set three preliminary conditions for his release, the Palestinian newspaper al-Quds said Monday citing well informed sources.

    MOSCOW, May 7 (RIA Novosti) - The abductors of a BBC reporter have set three preliminary conditions for his release, the Palestinian newspaper al-Quds said Monday citing well informed sources.

    Alan Johnston was kidnapped near his Gaza home March 12, sending shockwaves through the Palestinian public and media, who have been pressing the government since to do more to win his release.

    They demanded that the Palestinian authorities provide them with a plot of land, release an Iraqi terrorist from a Jordanian prison, and pay a $5 million ransom.

    The paper said negotiations with the kidnappers were hard going and the reporter was unlikely to be released any time soon.

    In mid-April, hundreds of Palestinian reporters stormed the Gaza legislature in protest at the government's failure to secure Johnston's release after leaflets claiming he had been executed were discovered.

    Security guards at the parliament building forced the angry reporters out, but the crowd threatened to stage similar protests at the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority and the Interior Ministry building.

    PNA officials, who unsuccessfully tried to negotiate Johnston's release March 13, vowed to do what they could to get the U.K. reporter back.

    Johnston has been working in Gaza on a permanent basis for the past three years, and is now one of a handful of foreign journalists and aid workers abducted in the Palestinian enclave in the past two years.

    On April 12, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also called for Johnston's immediate release.

    In all previous cases, the victims were released unharmed after a few days.

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