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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 July 2007, 19:10 GMT 20:10 UK
In pictures: Alan Johnston release

Alan Johnston is taken to Hamas leader Ismail Haniya's house

BBC Gaza correspondent Alan Johnston has been freed, almost four months after he was seized by the Army of Islam group in the Gaza Strip.

Alan Johnston at the home of sacked Hamas PM Ismail Haniya

In the first of a series of news conferences, Mr Johnston said he had "dreamt many times of being free" and said he was delighted the "terrifying" ordeal was over.

BBC staff celebrate the release of Alan Johnston with balloons and champagne

Meanwhile, friends and colleagues of Mr Johnston working in the BBC bureau in Jerusalem celebrated his release.

Alan Johnston on the Israeli side of the Erez crossing

Mr Johnston said: "It was like being buried alive. I felt removed from the world. It was occasionally terrifying, being held by people who were dangerous and unpredictable."

A video of Alan Johnston released by his captors

The Army of Islam released three videos during his incarceration, one of which featured footage of the kidnapped correspondent apparently wearing an explosives belt.

Vigil for Alan Johnston at BBC Television Centre

Mr Johnston was supported throughout his ordeal by his BBC colleagues. They are pictured holding a vigil in the newsroom at Television Centre to mark his 100th day in captivity.

Alan Johnston drinks tea

After being released Alan Johnston could at last enjoy some of the privileges he had been denied in captivity - a haircut, for example, and a nice cup of tea.

Alan Johnston and Simon Wilson

At the British Consulate in Jerusalem he spoke at length to the media, describing in detail the trauma of his seizure.

BBC Director General Mark Thompson

The BBC Director General, Mark Thompson, was among many quick to express relief and joy at the reporter's release.

Alan Johnston's family

Alan Johnston's father, Graham (left), sister, Katriona (centre) and mother, Margaret met BBC staff at Bush House, London, and were attending an awards ceremony on Wednesday night.

Bush House

Alan Johnston's colleagues at Bush House, the place where he worked for the last 20 years, showed their appreciation to his family.






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