Standoff at bank as man takes hostages and 'threatens to blow up building'

A man with a fake bomb held employees at a bank hostage and threatened to blow up the building before armed police stormed the building.

One of the hostages is said to have had a live streamed video of the drama on social media while being held in an Alfa-Bank branch in central Moscow, Russia.

Images posted online are said to have left the suspect walking around in an office and the masked police storming the building where about six people were being held.

The hostage-taker is said to have walked in with a food delivery bag claiming it had a bomb inside, and reportedly wearing the uniform of a local food delivery chain because he demanded a huge sum of money.

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The man is said to have told the staff that he was going through “a difficult situation in his life”.

He was arrested after locking himself up in the building, where fewer employees worked than usual on a Saturday afternoon due to the coronavirus outbreak, local media reported.

He was wearing a “dummy explosive” and all workers had left safely before being taken into custody by police, according to reports.

It has been suggested that the man may have suffered from mental health problems.

It was alleged that he wore the uniform of a food delivery chain.

A police source said to Tass news agency in Russia: “The Special Operations Unit has just attacked the Alfa-Bank office and arrested the perpetrator who threatened to blow up the bank.

“According to preliminary data, he had a dummy explosive.”

Earlier, a bank spokesman told Tass that there were no workers in the room where the hostage-taker was barricaded.

The spokesman said: “The data is still preliminary, but we are sure that the employees have left the room; there is a man in the office who barricaded the front door.

“His demands are unclear, and our colleagues say he’s delusional.”

The spokesperson added, “There are exceptionally few people in the office on Saturdays because of the self-isolation.”

Police closed off the area and attempted to negotiate with the suspect.

The food delivery company said it had no police confirmation that one of its employees was involved.

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