Man Holds Five Hostages in South Russia

MOSCOW, March 14 (RIA Novosti) – A man claiming to have a bomb has taken five people hostage at a college in the southern Russian city of Astrakhan, the Interior Ministry said on Thursday.

“Among the five hostages are a security guard, two college teachers and two students. The man who has seized them claims there are explosives in the box he is holding in his hands,” the ministry’s press office said in a statement.

The regional branch of Russia’s Investigative Committee previously said a man had taken four people hostage at the Volga-Caspian marine fishing industry college.

“At about 14:00 hours on March 14, an unidentified man armed with a pistol barricaded himself in one of the college rooms together with two college staff – a college teacher and a concierge – and two students,” the Investigative Committee said in a statement.

Negotiations are underway with the hostage-taker, who has demanded “food and beverages,” be brought to him, the Investigative Committee said.

A regional police source also told RIA Novosti the hostage-taker had urgently demanded pizza be delivered to him.

“At this moment, the man has not outlined the terms on which he will release the hostages but he demanded that pizza should be brought to him as soon as possible,” the police source said, adding the man is holding some kind of box in his hand, the police source said.


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