Assailant subdued as police end China bus standoff

AP News
Posted: Aug 30, 2011 5:35 AM
Assailant subdued as police end China bus standoff

Chinese police subdued a knife-wielding assailant and freed a busload of passengers he'd taken captive Tuesday outside a major eastern city, authorities and state media reported.

State media reports of the incident near Nanjing said at least three people aboard the bus were injured and taken to a hospital. Media accounts differed, with some saying there were multiple hijackers, at least one of whom had been shot and killed by a police SWAT team.

However, a Nanjing government spokesman who gave only his surname, Zhang, said all the hostages were successfully rescued and did not mention any injuries.

A news release from the city government did not say whether the hostage taker had been killed or merely arrested.

The statement said police pulled over the bus as it crossed the Yangtze River after receiving a bulletin from authorities in the city of Ningbo in the neighboring province of Zhejiang about a problem or suspect on the bus. As they boarded the bus at about 1:30 p.m. (0530 GMT), the hostage taker pulled out a knife and grabbed an 11-year-old girl, it said.

Just over two hours later, all the captives had been freed and the hostage taker subdued, according to the news release.

There was no immediate word on the hostage taker's identity, his motive or any specific demands he might have made.

Past bus hijackings in China have been carried out by people with mental or emotional problems or those bearing personal grudges.

Chinese police tactical teams have trained specially for such scenarios, especially in the wake of the deaths of eight Hong Kong hostages in a botched police rescue in the Philippines last year that drew widespread condemnation across China.