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Last Updated: Monday, 16 April 2007, 16:16 GMT 17:16 UK
BBC Scotland vigils for reporter
BBC employees in Aberdeen
BBC employees in Aberdeen joined the show of support
BBC Scotland employees have joined colleagues from across the corporation in a fresh show of support for Gaza reporter Alan Johnston.

More than 100 staff gathered outside Broadcasting House in Glasgow, with vigils also held in Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness and Orkney.

The vigils took place as checks continued into reports that a militant group had killed Mr Johnston.

The BBC said it has had no independent verification of the claim.

BBC Scotland Controller Ken MacQuarrie said the show of support would be conveyed to Mr Johnston's family.

Mr Johnston, 44, who was originally from Scotland, was abducted as he returned home from his Gaza office on 12 March.

Show support

The vigils started at 1415 BST - the time Mr Johnston was kidnapped last month.

They coincided with those held at BBC offices in London, Birmingham and Brussels.

Some of those taking part showed their support by holding pictures of the reporter.

Speaking at the vigil in Glasgow, Mr MacQuarrie praised the show of support.

He said: "It just shows the sense of the collegiate feeling there is across this organisation and all parts of the journalistic community, and indeed the public, towards our colleague Alan.

BBC employees in Edinburgh
A vigil was held in Edinburgh near the Scottish Parliament

"We will make sure that the range of feeling across the organisation is clearly and very well communicated to the family and I know that they are hugely appreciative of that, particularly at this most difficult time.

"The concerns are felt not only nationally but in the small community where Alan's parents live and across the world community."

In a second broadcast, Mr Johnston's father, Graham, who lives in Argyll, appealed for his son to be freed immediately.

On Sunday, the previously unheard of Tawhid and Jihad brigades claimed it had executed Mr Johnston.

The BBC said it was "highly concerned" for Mr Johnston's safety and reiterated calls for his release.

Colleagues hold a silent vigil for Alan Johnston

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