Witnesses say Palestinian gunmen have freed two Western teachers kidnapped early Wednesday in the Gaza Strip as part of a push to gain the release of several jailed militants.

The teachers, abducted as they drove to work in Gaza City, were reported safe hours later at the headquarters of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. Details of the release were not clear.

Gunmen from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine had claimed responsibility, in a statement demanding the release of jailed PFLP chief Ahmed Saadat.

He and several others in the group remain under foreign supervision in a Palestinian prison for their role in the 2001 assassination of Israeli Cabinet minister Rehavam Zeevi.

Some information for thisr eport provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.