PICS: Armed man takes 20 people hostage on bus in Ukraine
Lutsk, Ukraine - An armed man seized a bus and took some 20 people hostage in north-western Ukraine on Tuesday, Ukrainian police said.
Police sealed off the centre of Lutsk, a city 400km west of Kyiv. The assailant is armed and carrying explosives, they said in a Facebook statement.
Police officers are trying to get in touch with the man. He called the police himself at 9:25am (9:25am SA time) after taking control of the bus and introduced himself as Maksim Plokhoy, Deputy Interior Minister Anton Gerashchenko said on Facebook.
Gerashchenko said there is a book online, signed by Maksim Plokhoy and titled “Philosophy of a criminal”, describing a man's experience in prison.
“For 15 years they've been correcting me, but I haven't been corrected, on the contrary — I've become even more who I am,” one extract from the book said, according to Gerashchenko.
Interior Minister Arsen Avakov is flying to Lutsk.
Ukrainian media reported gunshots could be heard at the scene. It wasn't immediately clear whether anyone has been injured.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he was personally monitoring the situation. “Gunshots have been heard, the bus is damaged,” Zelenskiy said in a Facebook statement, adding measures are being taken to resolve the situation without casualties.