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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 December, 2004, 02:25 GMT
In pictures: Athens bus hijack
An elevated view of the bus and the white police bus blocking the road
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Two Albanian gunman seized the commuter bus in Athens early on Wednesday, taking more than 20 people hostage.
Heavily armed Greek special forces prepare to take up positions
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Greek police and special forces, highly trained to secure the Athens Olympics, were deployed to the area.
Parents of one of the hostages on board the bus
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Worried relatives of hostages gathered by the police cordon.
A hostage emerges from the bus
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Five hours after seizing the bus, the gunmen released five hostages, the first of whom came out with arms raised.
Special forces troops in camouflage gear hide in bushes
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The hijackers initially said they wanted to be taken to Athens airport and flown to Russia.
Police keep a close eye on the situation
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Police praised the bus driver for fleeing with the keys, thus immobilising the bus and allowing them to secure the area.
Hostages leave the bus
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The gunmen finally decided late on Wednesday evening to let all the hostages go and surrender.
Police board the bus
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Police were then able to board and secure the bus.




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