Source: Johnston’s captors promise to free him within 24 hours

By News Agencies / Ha Aretz

The captors of kidnapped journalist Alan Johnston have promised to release the British Broadcasting Corp. correspondent within 24 hours, a source close to the negotiations said Friday.

Hamas’ armed wing issued a statement Friday, saying it was in an advanced stage of negotiations and “begun practical steps to secure [Johnston’s] release.”

In Damascus, Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal said he was in contact with Hamas operatives in Gaza to secure the release of Johnston.”I have urged our brothers in Gaza to double their efforts,” he said. “I am confident that those holding Alan Johnston will realize that keeping him captive doesn’t serve the national interest.

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