Gunman releases two more of the 19 hostages being held in Georgian bank, demands $500,000
TBILISI (Reuters) - An unidentified gunman released two more hostages out of 19 still being held on Wednesday in a branch of the commercial Bank of Georgia in the town of Zugdidi, the deputy interior minister said. The gunman, who was masked and wore a military uniform, took 20 people hostage more than six hours ago and has demanded a sum of $500,000.
TBILISI (Reuters) - An unidentified gunman released two more hostages out of 19 still being held on Wednesday in a branch of the commercial Bank of Georgia in the town of Zugdidi, the deputy interior minister said.
The gunman, who was masked and wore a military uniform, took 20 people hostage more than six hours ago and has demanded a sum of $500,000. One hostage, a pregnant woman, was released earlier in the day, said police.
"Negotiations are underway, two more hostages have been released," Vladimir Bortsvadze, a deputy interior minister, told reporters. "We are doing our best to release all hostages."
The bank's employees as well as customers are among hostages. Police have blocked the area around the bank in the town centre.
The gunman initially gave the police a two-hour deadline to meet his demands, but it expired without further developments.
(Reporting by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Kevin Liffey, Gareth Jones and Jan Harvey)
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