GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Hamas gunmen on Tuesday took up positions around the stronghold of the shadowy group holding kidnapped British journalist Alan Johnston, stepping up the pressure to secure the correspondent’s release.
Members of Hamas’s 6,000-strong militia moved onto rooftops of high-rise buildings and deployed gunmen in streets in the Gaza City neighborhood inhabited by the Doghmush clan. The large, heavily armed family leads the Army of Islam, a little-known group that has been holding Mr. Johnston for nearly four months.
Hamas spokesman Khaled Abu Hilal said the group “will not spare any efforts to free the British journalist.” Hamas radio also broadcast a toll-free phone number, urging people to call in any information about the case. Witnesses said at least four members of the Doghmush clan were detained by Hamas.