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Russian Man Takes 4 Hostages, Demands Pizza And Sprite Soda

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A man in southern Russia took four people hostage for several hours on Thursday in a bizarre abduction where his only demand was a takeaway pizza and a fizzy drink, police said.

A man, apparently armed with a pistol and explosives, burst into a college in the city of Astrakhan located 1,500 kilometres southeast of Moscow, and took four people hostage.

After several hours he released the two female students, a teacher and a security guard unharmed.

"His only demand was a pizza and Sprite," police spokesman Pyotr Rusanov told AFP, adding that the hostage taker had barricaded himself and his hostages in a classroom.

Police cordoned off the building and met the man's demands by delivering the requested food and drink, he added.

After the negotiations that lasted several hours, all the hostages were released unharmed, another regional spokeswoman told AFP, adding the hostage taker himself was detained.

The teacher described the assailant as a man aged around 30, Rusanov said.

The teacher said the man had a pistol on him but could not say whether it was real. Regional police said the man also apparently had an explosive device in a box.

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