Haniyeh working `quietly' to free BBC journalist

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas said Tuesday he was working "quietly but actively" to release kidnapped British reporter Alan Johnston, a day after a senior official said his captors had made new demands. Haniyeh told a news conference that his office was working to release 44-year-old British Broadcasting Corp. correspondent Alan Johnston, abducted in Gaza City on March 12. However, Haniyeh declined to confirm statements made by his deputy, Azzam al-Ahmed, on Monday that Johnston was alive and that kidnappers had made new demands to release him. Haniyeh said he did not want to air the issue in public. "We are working quietly but actively on the issue of kidnapped journalist Alan Johnston. I have authorized somebody from my office to follow up this issue. He is communicating with several sides. I hope this will be fruitful in ending this issue," Haniyeh said.