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Gunman who took three hostage at Russian bank surrenders

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

A man armed with a hunting rifle who took three people hostage in a bank in southwestern Russia on Monday has surrendered, police said.

"The talks have been very successful," regional police spokesman Yevgeny Kamalov told AFP, adding that the hostages had now been released.

The man, who had kept some 25 million rubles ($700,000) in the local branch of Zapadny Bank in the city of Belgorod, entered the building demanding that the lender give him the money, Kamalov said.

Earlier Monday, Russia's Central Bank said it had withdrawn the Zapadny Bank's licence to operate for failing to comply with legislation.

Kamalov said the man decided to turn himself in to the authorities after police promised him assistance in getting his money back from the bank.

"No one was hurt," he said.

The man was arrested and Kamalov said the authorities have opened a criminal case into armed hostage-taking, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

As of April 1, 2014, the lender was the 142nd largest bank in Russia according to its assets, the Central Bank said.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130919/kerry-urges-china-play-constructive-role-syria-0