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October 9, 2009

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Hostage freed after knifepoint standoff

SHANGHAI police rescued a young woman from her knife-wielding boyfriend after an hours-long standoff on a city bridge yesterday afternoon.

The woman was uninjured, and the suspect was taken into custody, according to Podung New Area police.

Police said the kidnapping occurred after "emotional entanglements" between the two, but they did not reveal details.

The case was still under investigation last night.

Police were alerted at about 2:30pm when they were told a young man had taken his girlfriend hostage with a knife on Tongji Bridge in Huinan Town.

Officers surrounded the area and blocked Tongji Road for 500 meters.

The man held the knife to the throat of his girlfriend while negotiators tired to persuade him to release her. Witnesses said riot police with guns were on standby at the scene in Pudong.

At about 5pm, while negotiators were talking with the man and distracting his attention, a car drove onto the bridge with three plainclothes officers inside.

The officers rushed the man, and one grabbed the knife while another struck him.

The third officer pulled the girl from the suspect's grasp. Ten additional officers ran up to subdue the suspect.

Witnesses said the victim recently quit her job as a nurse at a nearby hospital.


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