Hostage-taker dead in Estonian defence ministry shootout
A man who reportedly took two people hostage in Estonia's Defence Ministry was shot dead Thursday in an exchange of gunfire with police, DPA reported refering to the Interfax news agency.
Two hostages were freed by police, reported the Baltic News Agency BNS. The motive for the incident were unknown.
According to initial reports, the drama began when the armed, Russian-speaking man entered the ministry building and took hostages. Witnesses reported that at least three shots were fired and that the man seemed to be working his way towards the building's upper storeys.
A police spokesman told BNS there were no reports of any other victims aside from the alleged hostage-taker. Defence Minister Mart Laar was not in the building at the time of the incident.
Estonian media reported that the building was largely empty, with many workers on vacation. Those who were working were evacuated, with some jumping out of windows to safety.
Security forces surrounded the building during the incident and bomb crews with a robot were dispatched to the scene, reported BNS.
A police spokesman had told BNS that there was no information about potential victims and refused to confirm reports about a possible hostage drama.