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Hostage News

German hostage drama 'likely a terrorist act': prosecutors

Berlin - German federal prosecutors took over the investigation into an arson attack and hostage-taking at Cologne's train station Wednesday, saying there were enough indications to suggest a terrorist motive.A Syrian refugee, identified only as Mohammad A.R.

Syrian in Germany hostage drama had mental problems: police

Cologne - A Syrian man who launched an arson attack and took a woman hostage at a German train station was an unemployed refugee with psychological problems and a history of street offences, police said Tuesday.

German police 'not ruling out terror' motive in Cologne hostage-taking

Cologne - German police said Monday they were not eliminating terrorism as a possible motive for a hostage-taking at Cologne central station that left four people injured.

Three wounded in Cologne hostage-taking: police

Cologne - German police said Monday they ended a hostage-taking in a pharmacy in Cologne's main train station, gravely wounding the alleged perpetrator after he himself injured two people."Special response units overpowered the man.

Paris hostage-taker moved to psychiatric hospital

Paris - A man who took two people hostage in central Paris was transferred to a psychiatric ward Wednesday, a day after the four-hour standoff in which he doused a woman in petrol and held a knife to her throat.

Arrest of gunman ends hostage seige in central Paris

Paris - A gunman who took two people hostage in central Paris on Tuesday has been arrested and his victims freed "safe and sound", police in the French capital said."Two hostages. including one who had petrol poured on them," have been freed police said.

Police free Mali consul's wife after held by man in Barcelona

Barcelona - Police on Monday freed the wife of Mali's honorary consul in Barcelona after a man from the African country seeking to be allowed out of Spain held her for five hours, police said.

Dutch police arrest man after knife drama at broadcaster

Den Haag - Dutch police arrested a man Thursday in the country's central broadcasting centre of Hilversum, after he took a woman hostage following an altercation in a parking lot, a spokeswoman said.

South Sudan ex-rebels release UN hostages in DR Congo

New York - South Sudanese former rebels on Tuesday released 16 UN staff after holding them hostage for several hours in a camp in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a UN official said.

Hostages safe in Paris armed robbery, thief on the run

Paris - Several people taken hostage Friday evening in a Paris travel agency were released safe and sound, police said, but the armed robber who seized them was on the run."Armed robbery on Massena Boulevard in Paris: operation over," police tweeted.

Iran hostage-taker: 'We were the WikiLeaks of our day'

Tehran - The Iranian students who stormed the US embassy in 1979 and released thousands of secret CIA documents were the WikiLeaks of their time, their former lead spokesperson has told AFP.

Colombia to launch peace talks with ELN rebels

Caracas - The Colombian government and the country's second-largest rebel group, the ELN, announced they would launch negotiations on October 27 in Ecuador's capital, with President Juan Manuel Santos predicting "total peace".

Colombia's ELN frees hostage ahead of 'important' news

Estanzuela - Colombia's second-largest rebel group, the ELN, freed a civilian hostage Monday, the Red Cross said, ahead of what was billed as an "important announcement" on potential peace talks with the government.

Colombia's ELN rebels free hostage ex-mayor: Red Cross

Estanzuela - Colombia's second-largest rebel group, the ELN, on Thursday released a former mayor it was holding hostage, as the country struggles to salvage a troubled peace process.

Hostage taker at Moscow bank turns himself in

Moscow - A man who took four people hostage at a bank in central Moscow late Wednesday has surrendered to police, local authorities said.

Istanbul airport bombers 'planned hostage-taking'

Istanbul - The suicide attackers who launched the deadly Istanbul airport assault were planning to take dozens of passengers hostage, Turkish media reported Friday, as two of the bombers were identified.

Man takes hostages in Paris suburb after killing policeman: police sources

Paris - A man has taken the wife and son of a policeman hostage in the Paris suburbs after stabbing the officer to death, police sources said late Monday.

Russia helps secure Syria's release of US detainee

Washington - Russia secured the release of a US citizen detained in war-torn Syria and has handed him over to American authorities, Moscow's foreign ministry said Friday.

London facing hostage crisis

London - Earlier this evening, armed police gathered outside Bella Italia restaurant in response to a hostage crisis unfolding in the center of London. The issue has been resolved and no injuries reported. Below are the details as it happened.

Qaeda affiliate hands over body of executed Lebanon soldier

Birut - Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate on Tuesday handed Lebanese authorities the body of a soldier it executed last year, in the first stage of a delicate hostage exchange deal, authorities said.

US-Iraqi forces free 70 captives facing IS 'mass execution'

Washington - Kurdish and US forces stormed an Islamic State prison in northern Iraq, freeing some 70 captives who were facing imminent execution, the Pentagon said.

Pentagon confirms 70 hostages freed in Iraq rescue mission

Washington - A US-backed rescue operation freed 70 hostages from an Islamic State prison in Iraq and captured five militants, the Pentagon said Thursday, confirming that a US service member was killed.

U.S. serviceman killed rescuing hostages from IS in Iraq: U.S. official    

Washington - A US serviceman has been killed in an operation to rescue hostages from Islamic State militants in Iraq, a US official told AFP Thursday.

French prison official freed after hostage drama

Lille - The deputy governor of a high-security prison in northern France was taken hostage by a "particularly dangerous inmate" Wednesday but was later released unharmed, officials said.

Croatian hostage handed over to IS by 'bandits': minister

Zagreb - A Croatian hostage whom the Islamic State group claims to have beheaded is thought to have been kidnapped by a criminal gang in Egypt before being turned over to the jihadists, Croatia's foreign minister said Thursday.

Croatian victim of IS beheading 'football-mad family man'

- Tomislav Salopek, whom the Islamic State group claimed Wednesday to have beheaded in Egypt, was among thousands of Croats who left the crisis-hit Balkans state to pursue opportunities abroad.

Croatia PM cannot confirm death of IS hostage but fears worst

Zagreb - Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said Wednesday he was unable to confirm the death of a Croatian hostage that the Islamic State group claimed to have beheaded, but that he feared the worst.

IS says it has beheaded Croatian hostage in Egypt  

Cairo - The Islamic State group said Wednesday it has beheaded a Croatian hostage, and released a picture of a body after what would be the first such killing of a Westerner in Egypt.

Obama admits government let down hostage families

Washington - US President Barack Obama admitted his government had not always done enough to stop the "unrelenting nightmare" faced by relatives of hostages held abroad, as he eased restrictions on talking with captors.

Mother held hostage uses online pizza order to get help

Avon Park - A woman in central Florida said she and her children were being held hostage, so she sent a secret message asking for help via an online pizza order.
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Facebook post by Thaxton during standoff
Facebook post by Thaxton during standoff
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Manila police surround a bus  where a former police officer took hostages and demanded his job back
Manila police surround a bus, where a former police officer took hostages and demanded his job back
Video screenshot
First facebook posting after Klein Michael Thaxton took a man hostage in a downtown Pittsburgh high ...
First facebook posting after Klein Michael Thaxton took a man hostage in a downtown Pittsburgh high rise.
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Klein Michael Thaxton
Klein Michael Thaxton
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Photos of former FBI agent Robert Levison  held hostage since being kidnapped in Iran in 2007.
Photos of former FBI agent Robert Levison, held hostage since being kidnapped in Iran in 2007.
Screen Capture