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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 April 2007, 17:35 GMT 18:35 UK
BBC's Johnston 'in good health'
Alan Johnston
Alan Johnston has been held captive for more than six weeks
BBC correspondent Alan Johnston, abducted in Gaza on 12 March, is in good health, Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister Azzam al-Ahmad has said.

Mr Ahmad met the UK's consul-general to Jerusalem, Richard Makepeace, in Ramallah to discuss the efforts being made to secure Mr Johnston's release.

The 44-year-old reporter has not been seen since he was seized at gunpoint.

A BBC News website petition has now registered its 50,000th name in support of Mr Johnston.

Multi-faith vigil

Mr Ahmad's office said in a statement: "The information that we have indicates that Johnston is in good health.

"The [Palestinian] government is fully co-ordinating with the presidency and all security services to pursue the extensive efforts to release Johnston and bring him back safely to his home, family and his work."

A previously unknown militant group said more than a week ago that it had killed the correspondent, but the BBC and Palestinian officials have said they have been unable to verify the claim.

BBC director general Mark Thompson told a British parliamentary committee: "We do not have firm information about his whereabouts or his state of health and Alan's family and the BBC remain increasingly concerned that such a long period has gone by without any firm word."

On Monday, a number of vigils were held across the UK to mark six weeks since the BBC's Gaza correspondent was abducted.

A multi-faith service was held at a London church and Alan's sister Katriona Johnston joined BBC Scotland staff for a vigil in Glasgow.

Pakistani journalists and foreign correspondents protested in Islamabad calling for Mr Johnston's release.

Multi-faith service for Alan Johnston

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