Gunman killed after attacking Estonian ministry

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The Independent Online

A gunman has died after he opened fire in Estonia's Defence Ministry and tried to take hostages.

He was apparently shot by police when they stormed the building, said prosecutor's office spokeswoman, Maria-Elisa Tuulik.

The attacker entered the ministry in central Tallinn at midday, threw a smoke bomb, fired shots and tried to kidnap two employees.

But police quickly evacuated the building and officers wearing bulletproof gear entered it, officials said.

Defence Minister Mart Laar was not there at the time.

Police would not identify the gunman, but Estonian media, citing unidentified ministry officials, said he was a former soldier.

The attack shocked the tiny, quiet Baltic nation of 1.3 million people that joined the Nato alliance in 2004.