'Ransom paid' in school siege

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The Independent Online
PARIS - The masked gunman holding six nursery school children hostage has been paid at least half the 100m francs ( pounds 12m) ransom which he has demanded, according to officials.

Police are convinced that the man is carrying explosives.

A white van, escorted by outriders, arrived at the Commandant Charcot school in the exclusive suburb of Neuilly, last night. Some sources said it contained the ransom money.

The drama began some 30 hours earlier on Thursday morning. The gunman took hostage a class of 21 children, aged three to four, and their teacher. He has since released 15 of the pupils.

Events took a more sinister turn yesterday when it was revealed that the man, who had so far been calm and controlled, threatened to let his remaining captives bleed to death if his demands are not met.

Chilling threat, page 11

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