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BBC captive in 'bomb vest' video
The kidnappers of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston have released a new video of him in which he is wearing what he says is an explosives vest.In the tape, Mr Johnston says his captors have said they will detonate the vest if force is used to try to free him.
As distressing as these images of Alan Johnston are I can't help feeling that this video might just end up saving his life. It shows in graphic detail what is obvious to most of us anyway - an assault on the kidnappers would almost certainly result in Alan Johnston being killed. Whether it's by a bomb-belt or a bullet to the head seems hardly relevant.

The kidnappers are clearly jittery and suspect an attempt at a 'military' solution, that is, a group of hyped-up Hamas fighters storming their hideout. The Hamas leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniya, has already said that Mr Johnston's captivity could not carry on. 'We will not allow the continuation of the abduction of the British journalist. The issue of Alan Johnston must end'.

You can read that statement in many ways but I can't help feeling that Haniya want's an end to this affront to Hamas's authority, even if it's at the expense of Alan Johnston's life. If Hamas decides to use force to free him the consequences are now clear for all to see.

Distasteful though the video is it does at least show that Johnston is alive and in good health and if it dissuades reckless action on the part of Hamas or anyone else it might just prove to be his lifesaver.