Iran hostage taking ends with death of gunman

A hostage crisis in the south central Iranian city of Shiraz has ended after the police shot dead the armed hostage taker.

Police were dispatched to the venue and intervened after reports that a gunman had killed five members of the family of his wife before fleeing, while holding two others captive.

“From the very beginning, police officers began their operation to identify and arrest [the gunman] and … found the hiding place of the murderer in the same vicinity [the murders took place],” Police Commander of the Fars Province Brigadier General Roham Bakhsh Habibi said.

“Officers were dispatched to the site after coordination with the judicial authority. The murderer started shooting at the police with a Kalashnikov rifle the moment he saw them.”

The general said it took officers one hour to release the captives while engaging the gunman and he was shot dead, after he refused to end the shootout. 

The victims included two of the gunman’s brothers in law as well as the wife and two children of one of them.

Shiraz Prosecutor’s office also said the motive for the murders was family and financial issues.

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