Hostages at Russian school freed, police arrest captor

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 14, 2013 8:58 AM

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian police freed three hostages held at a school in the southern city of Astrakhan on Thursday after they stormed the classroom where their captor had been threatening to detonate what turned out to be a fake bomb.

None of the hostages - two students and a security officer - were hurt despite being held for several hours, police in the city on the Caspian Sea said.

The captor, who gave himself up to police, had earlier released a fourth hostage, a teacher, who police said was in a good condition.

"The man was arrested. There were no real weapons found on him, just a toy gun and a fake bomb," said Andrei Segay from a local unit of Russia's top investigative body.

The man faces up to 15 years in jail, police said.

The man had asked police negotiators to bring him food and drink but made no other demands.

(Writing by Steve Gutterman and Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Timothy Heritage and Alison Williams)