Gaza group claims kidnapping of journalists

A previously unknown militant group in Gaza claimed responsibility on Wednesday for the kidnapping nine days ago of two Fox journalists and demanded the United States release “Muslim prisoners” within 72 hours.

“Release what you have, and we will release what we have,” the “Holy Jihad Brigades” said in a statement obtained by Reuters.

Fox News Channel correspondent Steve Centanni and cameraman Olaf Wiig were abducted by masked gunmen in Gaza City on August 14 as they were working on a story.

The group did not say what would happen to the two journalists if the US did not meet their demand to release Muslims in American prisons by the time the deadline expires on Saturday.

“If you implement our conditions we will implement our promise, otherwise you will have to wait,” the statement said.

There has been no word on the condition of the journalists since they were seized.

Until Wednesday’s statement, which contained verses from the Qur’an, no one had claimed responsibility for the abduction, which is now the longest-lasting in Gaza for more than a year.

Previous kidnappings, and there have been at least seven involving foreigners since August 2005 when Israeli troops withdraw from Gaza after 38 years of occupation, have usually ended after a few hours, or at most a few days, of captivity.—Reuters

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