Man held after child hostages freed

Man held after child hostages freed

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A 17-year-old armed with swords is being held by police after children and their teacher were taken hostage at a pre-school in eastern France

Police have detained a 17-year-old who took a class full of pre-schoolers hostage and all the children have been released safely, a city official has said.

Jean-Marc Magda, aide to the mayor of Besancon, said “the hostage-taking is over” and the hostage-taker is under police custody, still inside the school.

Earlier a 17-year-old armed with swords took about 20 small children and their teacher hostage at the pre-school in eastern France.

Fourteen of the children were later released, but six remained inside the school in the city of Besancon, said a police official. An official with city hall said they were in the Charles Fourier pre-school.

The motives for the hostage taking were unclear.

The other classes in the school were evacuated. Mr Magda said on BFM-TV that the children’s families were offered psychological and medical assistance.

Mr Magda said a special police force was sent in from Strasbourg to help local police handle the stand-off.

The swordsman had suffered from depression, police said. His doctors were contacted by investigators trying to discover what could be behind the hostage-taking.

The school is in Planoise, a neighbourhood of housing projects with a big immigrant population on the western edge of Besancon.

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