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Rio hijacking: Armed man takes 37 bus passengers hostage before being shot dead

An armed man who hijacked a bus and took 37 passengers hostage in Rio de Janeiro has been shot dead by police. The masked man, believed to have petrol with him, was threatening to burn the bus from the inside, ABC.es reports.[1] Police[2] were trying to negotiate with the hijacker as they surrounded the vehicle, local media reports.

Brazilian security forces eventually shot the hijacker dead, bringing the incident to a close. None of the hostages was harmed during the four-hour hijacking, Rio de Janeiro Governor Wilson Witschel told reporters at the scene. He congratulated the police for an “exemplary performance” in a Twitter[3] post but said he regretted the death of the hijacker.

A passenger claimed the man had been armed with a pistol and a knife – and never explained the reasons for his actions. The bus was blocking all lanes on the Rio-Niteroi Bridge in the Brazilian city amid the major police operation.

The bus is on a bridge in Rio de Janeiro Bus passengers are being held hostage

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The bridge has been closed in both directions. The incident began at 5.30am local time (8.30 GMT), reports say.

Six out of the 37 hostages were released by the hijacker, officials confirmed. They were freed separately and at time intervals, reports said. Police told reporters the incident appeared to be ‘premeditated’.

Rio hijacking: Armed man takes 37 bus passengers hostage before being shot deadEmergency services are at the scene

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“We have a man who has identified himself as a military policeman,” Sheila Sena of the Federal Highway Police earlier told globo.com.[4]

“He is threatening to throw gas on the bus, putting passengers in danger. “We are in negotiations with him to release more hostages, we do not know what his real purpose is.” The bridge that connects state capital Rio with the city of Niteroi across the bay is a major commuter thoroughfare, and the hijacking during the morning rush hour triggered travel chaos in the region.

TV images showed massive traffic jams on the bridge, which was swarming with armed security officials.

References

  1. ^ ABC.es reports. (www.abc.es)
  2. ^ Police (www.mirror.co.uk)
  3. ^ Twitter (www.mirror.co.uk)
  4. ^ globo.com. (g1.globo.com)

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