Ukraine: gunman holds “20” bus passengers hostage

(Kiev) An armed man carrying explosives took about 20 passengers hostage from a bus in Lutsk, a city in western Ukraine, on Tuesday, regional police said.

France Media Agency

“A man took control of a bus with around 20 passengers on board in the center of Lutsk, he has explosives and weapons,” regional police said on Facebook.

For his part, a local police official said on the Telegram social network that shots were fired, without any casualties being reported.

The center of Lutsk, a city of just over 200 000 0 inhabitants , has been closed to traffic according to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry.

Images broadcast by local media show the minibus stopped, two of its windows damaged and the passenger curtains closed. Heavily armed police were deployed around the scene.

The hostage taker called the police and introduced himself as Maxime Plokhoï, Deputy Interior Minister Anton Guerashchenko said on Facebook, without specifying that they would be his demands or his motivations.

“We are negotiating. We hope to settle everything through negotiations, “he told AFP, referring to the” complex mental state “of the hostage taker.

On Facebook, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reacted to “worrying news from Lutsk”.

“Everything is being done to resolve the situation without there being any casualties,” he said while the Minister of the Interior, Arsen Avakov, left urgently for Lutsk.