A senior Palestinian security official says there is progress in efforts to free two Western journalists abducted in Gaza nearly two weeks ago.

Interior Minister Said Siyam, of the militant Islamic group Hamas, said Friday officials are attempting to secure the release of the men. He did not elaborate.

His statement was the first upbeat assessment by Palestinian officials since gunmen seized Fox correspondent, American Steve Centanni, and cameraman Olaf Wiig of New Zealand on August 14.

On Thursday, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh condemned the kidnapping and called for the release of the men.

A group calling itself the Holy Jihad Brigades said it is holding the two journalists. It demanded that the U.S. release Muslim prisoners it is holding by Saturday.


Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.