x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Youth takes 20 children in French nursery hostage

A 17-year-old youth armed with swords bursts into a nursery to take 20 children aged between four and six hostage.

BESANCON// A 17-year-old youth armed with two swords on Monday burst into a French nursery school and took 20 children hostage, officials said.

He later released most of them but was still holding five or six hostage at the school in the eastern city of Besancon, the city's mayor Jean-Louis Fousseret said.

Police negotiators were in contact with the youth by telephone and an elite police unit specialising in hostage situations has surrounded the school, he said.

The man "went into the establishment armed with two swords and declaring that he wanted something," but did did not say what exactly that was, Fousseret said.

The class from which he took his hostage was made up of children aged from four to six years old, the mayor added.

Education Minister Luc Chatel was on his way to the city, officials said.