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EDITIONS
 Friday, 27 December, 2002, 16:08 GMT
Police shot at during siege
Police at the scene
Armed police were called in as a precaution
Police officers have been shot at as they tried to enter a flat in east London which has been surrounded since Thursday morning.

A police negotiator, armed officers, fire fighters and ambulance staff are outside an address in Graham Road, Hackney.

Some surrounding streets have been cordoned off, dozens of people have been moved to safety and neighbours are thought to have been put under a curfew.

The siege started when police officers spotted a car thought to have been involved in a shooting in the West End, in Marvin Street, Hackney at 1120 GMT on Boxing Day.

It is our priority to bring the incident to a peaceful conclusion

Police spokesman

They tried to tow it away for forensic examination when they were shouted at by a man in a nearby flat.

They set up a cordon outside the address and vehicle and called in armed officers from the Met's S019 unit.

But when they tried to get into the flat they were shot at and withdrew, uninjured.

Police officers fired back at the man, who is thought to have been injured, but he has refused medical assistance.

A police negotiator is trying to coax the man out of the building and officers have also cordoned off nearby Wilton Way and Penpoll Road.

Marvin Street
Marvin Street has been cordoned off

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "It is our priority to bring the incident to a peaceful conclusion and to avoid any further injury to anyone involved."

Gavin Ritchie, who has been staying with friends in the same street, told BBC London neighbours had been under curfew for the past 24 hours.

He said: "One chap over the road has got two kids, aged five and eight and a one-month-old baby.

"He took them for a walk around the park and could not get back in the house. We had them in here for hours and hours last night."

Witness Georgina O'Callaghan added: "It was just crazy. All of a sudden it started, the guns just started going off."

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  BBC London's Nicola Pearson
"It's not known how long this stand-off is going to last"

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