Armed man holding some 20 people hostage in Ukraine

Armed man holding some 20 people hostage in Ukraine

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LUTSK, Ukraine: An armed man seized a bus and took some 20 people hostage in northwestern Ukraine on Tuesday, Ukrainian police said.

Police sealed off the center of Lutsk, a city 400 kilometers (250 miles) west of Kyiv,. The assailant is armed and carrying explosives, they said in a Facebook statement.

Police officers are trying to get in touch with the man. He called the police himself at 9:25 a.m. (0725 GMT) after taking control of the bus and introduced himself as Maksim Plokhoy, Deputy Interior Minister Anton Gerashchenko said on Facebook.

Gerashchenko said there is a book online, signed by Maksim Plokhoy and titled “Philosophy of a criminal,” describing a man’s experience in prison.

“For 15 years they’ve been correcting me, but I haven’t been corrected, on the contrary — I’ve become even more who I am,” one extract from the book said, according to Gerashchenko.

Ukrainian media reported that gunfire could be heard at the scene. It is not clear whether anyone was injured.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said that he is personally monitoring the situation.

Zelenskiy said in a Facebook statement: “The gunfire was heard and the bus was damaged.” He added that measures are being taken to resolve the situation with no casualties.

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