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Gunman in Norway Holding Five Children, Two Adults Hostage

Aired May 15, 2000 - 2:05 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: In Norway, a man is holding five preschoolers and two adults hostage today at a nursery school. He released 28 people, most of them children, early on in the standoff.

ITN's Harry Smith has the latest.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HARRY SMITH, ITN REPORTER (voice-over): Throughout the day armed police officers have surrounded the nursery school while negotiations with the gunman go on. It's not clear what his motive might be, but it's thought he entered the school shortly before lunch time armed with a shotgun and threatened some of the 20 children and 10 staff.

As news spread around the small town, anxious parents tried to reach the school but were directed by police to a crisis center setup nearby. Three hours after the siege began, the first of the hostages were released. As police marksman stood by, a teacher walked slowly from the front gate with three of the children by her side. All appeared calm and police said later all were none the worse for their ordeal. Five children and two teachers remain inside the school, occasionally they've been seen through the fence as the gunmen allowed them out in turns into the playground.

Armed police officers are keeping watch just yards away but have made no move to rescue them. Police say the gunmen telephoned them threatening to kill the children, but they've given no details of his demands. They've also declined to confirm or deny reports that he's a father of one of the children or that he broke into the school looking for one of the female teachers and has now shut himself in a room with her. Police said a short time ago they believed all the hostages were still unharmed but the situation remains tense.

Harry Smith, ITN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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