Fri, Feb 15, 2008 - Page 6 News List

Five-hour nursery hostage drama winds up peacefully

AFP , REGGIO DI CALABRIA, ITALY

Parents are reunited with some of the 12 children seized during a hostage-taking incident at a kindergarten in Reggio Calabria, Italy, on Wednesday.

PHOTO: REUTERS

Police overcame a man armed with a box cutter who held a dozen children and a teacher hostage for ransom at a nursery school in southern Italy on Wednesday, a spokesman said.

"He surrendered without put-ting up a fight," police said after the five-hour ordeal in Reggio di Calabria.

ANSA said the female teacher had managed to keep the children entertained during the ordeal so that they did not panic.

The man had gained entry into the school by saying he was the father of one of the pupils. ANSA said he had earlier tried to enter an elementary school in the same neighborhood but was turned away by staff.

The man demanded a ransom of 500,000 euros (US$725,000).

ANSA said the man was taken to a hospital for medical tests.

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