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    Hostage-taker killed in Siberian bank, no hostages injured

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    A man who had been holding several people hostage in a bank in southwest Siberia on Friday was shot dead in a police operation, and no hostages were injured, the Kemerovo Region administration said.

    KEMEROVO, March 13 (RIA Novosti) - A man who had been holding several people hostage in a bank in southwest Siberia on Friday was shot dead in a police operation, and no hostages were injured, the Kemerovo Region administration said.

    "The unidentified man who seized the bank and took hostages was killed in an operation," a spokesman told RIA Novosti. "Neither the hostages, nor the participants in the operation were injured."

    The man, armed with a gun and a grenade, took three female bank clerks and two guards hostage at around 7:00 p.m. local time (noon GMT) at the branch of URSA Bank in the town of Leninsk-Kuznetsky. Two other women were hiding on the upper floors of the building.

    He demanded transport, 30 million rubles ($860,000), and the opportunity to leave the region, threatening to set off an explosive device. The bomb was discovered and defused shortly after the operation.

    Kemerovo Region Governor Aman Tuleyev and the regional police chief, Alexander Yelin, conducted talks with the hostage taker, who identified himself only as "Siberian," for about an hour. Three female hostages, including a pregnant woman, managed to escape through a window during the talks.

    "The Siberian refused to make any concessions and pledged to carry out his threats," the source said. "Because of this, he was killed."

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