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The day we've all been waiting for...

| 09:06 UK time, Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Alan Johnston finally has his chance to talk to World Have Your Say Alan Johnston is a free man. After 114 days in captivity, our colleague has been released from captivity in Gaza.

Alan was handed over by armed men in Gaza City in the early hours of this morning.

As regular listeners are aware, every day since Alan was captured, we have heard messages of support for him on the programme, in the hope that the words of support may get through to him.

The picture above shows Alan speaking to us LIVE on the programme.

Alan told BBC radio this morning that he did hear some of those messages, including ones from former hostages Terry Waite and Brian Keenan.

Thank you to everyone who sent in messages, please continue to do so, as we would love to hear your reaction to Alan's release today.

I've been listening to the messages that have been pouring in to various news outlets this morning, but there also seem to be a lot of questions. What has been happening to ensure Alan's safe release over the past four months?

The World Service's Julian Keane interviewed Alan in the hours after his release. In this interview Alan reveals details of his capture, captivity and release plus how he was given a radio and was able to hear World Have Your Say messages of support. If you want a reminder of those messages then here's WHYS from May 17th with audio clips. Click here for part #1 of the interview. Click here for part #2.

"It's a great PR exercise for Hamas" said one texter to the domestic radio station I am listening to just now. What impact will this have on Palestinian politics? And, what about all the people still being help hostage in the region? The father of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit has said he is very happy for Alan Johnston and his family, and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh stated that he hoped Gilad Shalit, would also be released soon.


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