Elderly man takes 14 hostages in north Colombia

An elderly man took 14 people hostage in the public notary office in the town of Giron, in the Santander department, newspaper El Espectador reported Monday.

The 70-year-old man entered the office at approximately 8 AM on Monday, with the goal of getting papers signed to reclaim his house, which had recently been seized by state authorities. After learning the house had been auctioned off, the man drew a gun and ordered the building be locked down.

Local media reports vary in the number of hostages taken, which is between eight and sixteen, and includes public notary officials as well as citizens who were conducting legal negotiations in the office.

Around 100 local police surrounded the public building, including four snipers. By 9:45 AM, police managed to convince the man to release the hostages, and he was subsequently arrested.

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