- The Washington Times - Friday, March 13, 2009

MOSCOW (AP) - A Russian official says a gunman who seized five hostages at a Siberian bank has been killed and his captives freed.

Kemerovo regional governor Aman Tuleyev said the hostage-taker died during an operation by special police at the commercial bank in the city of Leninsk-Kuznetsky. He spoke on state-run Vesti-24 television from the scene.

Officials said the assailant took five people hostage at a branch of Ursa-Bank, and there were conflicting reports about his demands.

Tuleyev said two female hostages were able to escape during negotiations and that police took action to release the remaining hostages while the talks continued.

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