Brazilian police free 17 hostages from bus overtaken by gunman

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Brazilian police said Tuesday they released 17 hostages from a gunman that took over a crowded bus in Rio de Janeiro and wounded at least two people.

Rio police said in its social media channels that all hostages aboard a bus parked at one of the city’s main terminals had been freed “after a successful work of negotiation” led by its elite squad.

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The man’s motive remains unclear, Police Col. Marco Andrade said in an interview on TV news channel Globo News. “We have children and older people inside the bus,” Andrade said, adding that very little was known at this stage.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – MARCH 01: An aerial view of ┬áthe statue of Christ the Redeemer during the opening ceremony of the festivities in honor of the 90th anniversary of the statue on March 1, 2021 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

The bus was parked at the Sao Cristovao terminal in the city center and was scheduled to head to the neighboring state of Minas Gerais.

Police cars and ambulances could be seen waiting near the bus, while thousands of passengers were stranded waiting for information on scheduled travel.

People interviewed on TV said they heard several gunshots, causing panic inside the crowded terminal.

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One wounded person was sent to a nearby hospital, police said.

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