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July 31, 2009

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Police save hostage at knifepoint

POLICE rescued a woman held hostage at knifepoint by a man early yesterday morning at the crossing of Yan'an Road and Chengdu Road.

Police said the woman was unharmed.

The suspect surnamed Wang allegedly robbed a passer-by at knifepoint and fled toward the North-South Elevated Road after police were called about 1:30am.

The half-naked Wang knocked down a couple and took the woman hostage under the elevated road.

Wang threatened to harm the woman if police didn't give him a vehicle to escape.

Witnesses said specialist police twice failed to rescue the woman and negotiators failed to appease him.

"The man kept threatening the policemen who tried to approach and shouted at them to drop back," said a witness surnamed Lu, adding the woman was very scared and kept screaming.

Wang seemed impatient and demanded a cigarette.

"He was vigilant," said Lu. "He asked for a lit cigarette and didn't allow the police to stay close."

At 2:08am, while Wang tried to move along Yan'an Road M., a plainclothes policeman ambushed the man from behind, snatched the knife and secured him.

"It was very dangerous because the man was counting down to kill the woman, forcing the police to withdraw," Lu said. "And he had got down to two when the police took action."

The stolen mobile phone and ring were found in Wang's pockets, police said.


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