Alexander Shlamov / Sputnik
An armed man took several hostages this afternoon, still in uncertain numbers, inside the premises of a bank in Georgia, the authorities of this former Soviet republic reported.
The Georgian Ministry of the Interior has not yet specified how many people have been taken hostage inside the bank, located in the city of Zugdidi (western region), or what the aggressor’s requirements are.
The police meanwhile isolated the area where the bank branch is located and set up an operation “to neutralize the aggressor”, the ministry said in a statement.
Georgia state television, Mtavari TV, reported that the hijacker is armed with a hand grenade and requires $ 500,000 (about 420,000 euros) in cash.
Mtavari TV was able to speak with one of the hostages who indicated that the aggressor keeps 19 people inside banking facilities.
The television channel also released a video showing a room with people sitting on the floor and a man dressed in a military uniform, his face covered, and armed with a shotgun.