[QODLink]
Europe
Children held hostage in France
Police enter school where 17-year-old armed with swords is holding group of children hostage.
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2010 10:26 GMT

Specialist police have entered a school in eastern France where a 17-year-old armed with two swords is holding a group of children hostage.

The young man had taken around 20 children hostage in the eastern city of Besancon just after the school opened on Monday morning, but released a dozen shortly after.

Around five or six are said to still be inside the school with the hostage.

The man "went into the establishment armed with two swords and declaring that he wanted something," but did did not say what exactly that was, Jean-Louis Fousseret, the city's mayor said.

"For the moment I am optimistic, he said, adding: "Of course the families are worried."

Officers have been in contact with the youth via the telephone, a police official told the AP news agency.

Luc Chatel, the country's education minister, is said to be on his way to Besancon.

French media have said the hostage-taker was known to suffer from depression, but no motive has been made clear.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.