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The BBC's James Coomarasamy
"He was wounded in the head"
 real 28k

Thursday, 1 June, 2000, 17:50 GMT 18:50 UK
Police shoot nursery gunman
Parents of the captive children
It has been an anxious time for parents of the captive children
Special police have stormed a nursery in Luxembourg where a man was holding 25 children and three teachers captive.

A police spokesman confirmed that the hostage-taker had been shot.

According to reports from the scene, police have cleared the nursery and carried out the children.

The rescue operation is reported to have been organised by Luxembourg police and a special anti-terrorist squadron from Germany.

Earlier on Thursday, the man had released four toddlers. Others had been released shortly after he took over the building on Wednesday.

The man, a 39-year-old Tunisian who lives in a nearby town, was reported to be armed with a hand grenade, a pistol and two full cans of fuel.

He had earlier demanded to fly to Libya but a deadline he had set to be taken to a nearby airport passed without incident at 0830 local time (0630 GMT).

Policeman carrying a released child to safety
One of the lucky children released
Shortly after the deadline expired, a boy and a girl were set free. After several more hours of talks, two boys were released.

A police spokeswoman said all were in good physical shape.


Before police stormed the building negotiations had been described as edgy.

The gunman was said to have a history of psychiatric problems.

More than 130 police had taken up positions around the school.

Orders had been given to end the situation without violence, but ambulances and fire-engines had been on stand-by.

View of the Luxembourg nursery
Negotiations continued with the gunman for more than 24 hours

Luxembourg's Interior Minister, Michel Wolter said: "We think we know the motive."

According to the interior minister, the man's children, who were recently taken from him by social services, had attended the school where he is now holding the hostages.

Earlier releases

The incident began on Wednesday afternoon with 49 children and five adults seized at a nursery school in Wasserbillig, a small town which borders Germany on the Moselle River.

The gunman released 16 children under five and a member of staff a few hours into the drama after being allowed to speak to his psychiatrist.

Police said the released children were returned to their parents "in good condition".

Many of the children are from the local Portuguese community. Local and Portuguese politicians had been offering comfort to the children's relatives gathered outside the nursery.

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01 Jun 00 | Europe
Timeline: Attacks on children
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