Two Fox News journalists kidnapped in Gaza

Monday, August 14, 2006

Palestinian gunmen have reportedly kidnapped two foreign journalists working for Fox News, a news company owned by parent-company News Corp.

A Palestinian witness who worked with the journalists, said that American reporter Steve Centanni, and Olaf Wiig, a cameraman from New Zealand were taken against their will.

New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokeswoman Helen Tunnah said that the ministry had not received any information on the kidnapping.

Fox News said that they did not know who captured the journalists but said that "We can confirm that two of our people were taken against their will in Gaza," and that "negotiations were under way to secure their release."

The incident began when two vehicles blocked the transmission truck, labelled 'TV', and their bodyguard was forced to the ground at gunpoint by a masked man.

The gunman then drove away with the journalists.

Palestinian police stopped and searched cars. Hamas, the Islamic militant group that heads Gaza's government, did not claim responsibility, and condemned the kidnapping. There are no claims for responsibility at this time.

Fox News Vice President John Moody said in an internal message to Fox News personnel that "The rumors are true: two of our employees have been abducted in Gaza. We will report this fact via our Israel correspondents. Do NOT do any other segments on it. Do not book guests on this topic. Do not comment officially and of course, not on the air, about it. DO pray for their release. I will keep you posted."