Gunmen Take Children Hostage in Pakistan
Seven Pakistani gunmen took a school hostage with over 200 children inside Monday morning located in the Bannu district of northwest Pakistan. The New York Times reports that the group was originally at 8 but after failing to kidnap a local health official they changed their plans and headed for the school instead. During a chase towards the school a gunfight ensued with local police and one of the men was captured.
The Associated Press has the numbers a little different though. They have a quote from police official Hamza Mehsud claiming that after the children were freed they learned that only seven teachers and 25 children were held hostage in one classroom. All 200 school children were allowed to leave after the 5 hour standoff when the gunmen left the building.
Local police still haven't detained the gunmen by the New York Times printing but were in the custody of local elders. The gunmen agreed to free the children but only after turning themselves into the elders instead of the police. The elders are now negotiating to hand the gunmen over to police.
There have been conflicting reports on the matter but according to CBC News Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf told a news conference on Monday the issue had been resolved. "It was incidental that those criminals entered the school...It has been resolved peacefully," he said.