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Gunman in Brazil holds hostages in bus; police on alert

Hostage crisis in Brazil, bus hijacked Photograph:( Reuters )

AFP Brazil Aug 20, 2019, 05.01 PM (IST)

A gunman has been holding as many as 16 bus passengers hostage in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday, officials said.

At least six people have been freed from the vehicle that was stopped on a bridge connecting Rio with neighbouring city Niteroi.

Heavily armed police have surrounded the bus as they started negotiating with the gunman, who G1 news reported is armed with a gun and gasoline.

The gunman reportedly boarded the bus at 5:30 am (0830 GMT) and began threatening passengers. 

Traffic on the Rio-Niteroi bridge spanning Guanabara Bay has been paralysed during the ongoing hostage situation.