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Syria frees 10 women prisoners as part of three-way hostage swap

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian authorities have released 10 women jailed for helping the opposition, the first batch of 126 women expected to be freed in the final stages of a three-way hostage swap, activists said on Wednesday, The women's release was the main demand of kidnappers in northern Syria who had held nine Lebanese men hostage for 17 months. Those hostages and two Turkish pilots abducted in Lebanon were freed last week under a deal negotiated by Qatar.

Manila to apologize to Hong Kong over fatal hostage-taking

The city of Manila said Tuesday it will formally apologize to Hong Kong over a 2010 bus hostage case in the city where eight Hong Kong tourists were killed, after the country's leader has declined to do so. The capital city's council "passed a resolution taking it on the city government to apologize directly to the people of Hong Kong," Manila-based media TV5 reported.

Gunman briefly holds four hostage at Paris bank

An armed man with a history of mental health issues held four people hostage for two hours at a Paris bank Friday, demanding social housing for himself and his son before surrendering to police. "He gave himself up after negotiations," releasing a final female hostage he had kept after giving up three others, a police source said. The gunman entered the branch of CIC bank in Paris's southern 13th district, barely 200 yards from the area's main police station, around 1450 GMT.

Paris hostage-taking ends as gunman surrenders

A hostage-taking Friday that saw four people seized at a bank in Paris has ended with the gunman giving himself up, police said. The armed man surrendered around 1700 GMT, about two hours after he had entered the bank, police said. "He gave himself up after negotiations," releasing a final female hostage he had kept after giving up three others, a police source said. The man entered the branch of CIC bank in Paris's southern 13th district around 1450 GMT with a handgun and was demanding social housing for himself and his son.

Armed man holding two hostages in Paris bank

An armed man was holding two people hostage in a bank in Paris on Friday and demanding a negotiator, police said. The man entered the branch of CIC bank in Paris's 13th district around 1450 GMT with a handgun and was demanding social housing for himself and his son, a police source said. He initially took four people in the bank hostage but released two, police said. Police said one of the bank's employees managed to trigger an alarm shortly after the man entered the bank.

Armed man holding two hostages in Paris bank

An armed man was holding two people hostage in a bank in Paris on Friday and demanding a negotiator, police said. The man entered the branch of CIC bank in Paris's 13th district around 1450 GMT with a handgun and was demanding social housing for himself and his son, a police source said. He initially took four people in the bank hostage but released two, police said. pta/mm/dh

French police: Gunman takes 2 people hostage at central Paris bank

PARIS - French police say a gunman is holding a man and a woman hostage at a central Paris bank as a protest over social housing. Four hostages were originally held Friday at a CIC branch, but two have since been freed. More than a dozen police officers have been deployed outside the bank, which is near Paris' busy shopping district of Place de l'Italie, and have blocked off roads around the area, according to police.

Armed man holding four people hostage in Paris bank

An armed man was holding four people hostage in a bank in Paris on Friday and demanding a negotiator, police said. The man entered the branch of CIC bank in Paris's 13th district around 1450 GMT with a handgun and was demanding social housing for himself and his son, a police source said. pta/mm/dh

Manila says news report on 2010 bus hostage crisis inaccurate

The Philippine government denied that Hong Kong has agreed to put "behind us" a fatal hostage-taking incident in Manila in 2010, describing as inaccurate a Philippine newspaper report that Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying made the gesture in a meeting with President Benigno Aquino. The report, published by Manila Standard Today on Thursday, stirred controversy in Hong Kong, as it suggested that Leung had decided to wrap up the dispute without the consent of the victims.

H.K. raps Philippine media over report on hostage crisis

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's recent appeal for the Philippines to resolve tension over a 2010 hostage-taking in Manila in which eight Hong Kong people died was "too late" as Hong Kong had agreed to put the crisis "behind," Philippine presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda was quoted as saying in a Manila news report picked up Friday by media in Hong Kong.
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