Hostage crisis at US synagogue ends: Everyone out alive, safe

WION Web Team
Colleyville (US) Updated: Jan 16, 2022, 10:37 AM(IST)

All the hostages at the US synagogue have been rescued (representative image). Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

At a US synagogue, a man had taken hostages during services on Saturday. In a livestream, the suspect could be heard demanding the release of a Pakistani neuroscientist. Initially, at least four hostages were believed to be inside the synagogue. All the hostages were finally rescued 

The hostage crisis at US synagogue has finally ended. After being held for hours inside the synagogue in the state of Texas, all the hostages were rescued on Saturday night, according to Governor Greg Abbott.    

This comes nearly 12 hours after the standoff had begun. “Prayers answered. All hostages are out alive and safe," Abbott tweeted.   

Just a while back, a loud bang of what sounded like gunfire was heard coming from the synagogue.  

The details of the rescue were not released immediately. It is also unclear whether the suspect was dead or alive. 

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The man had taken hostages during services on Saturday, said authorities. In a livestream, the suspect could be heard demanding the release of a Pakistani neuroscientist.   

Initially, at least four hostages were believed to be inside the synagogue, as per law enforcement officials on condition of anonymity.  

Shortly after 5 pm, one hostage was released uninjured, said the Colleyville Police Department. As the man did not require medical attention, he was expected to be reunited with his family.  

The neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui, the suspect wants to get released, has been convicted of trying to kill US Army officers in Afghanistan.  

The rabbi of the synagogue was also believed to be among the hostages, an official said. The suspect also claimed to be armed but the authorities have been able to confirm it.  

Authorities were also trying to ascertain the motive for the attack. The hostage-taker seems to have also wanted to be able to speak with Siddiqui, who is in federal prison in Texas.  

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The suspect has not yet been identified.  

In New York City, a rabbi received a call from the rabbi, who is believed to be held hostage in the synagogue, to demand release of Siddiqui, an official said. To report the call, the New York City’s rabbi dialed 911.  

On reaching scene, people were evacuated from the surrounding neighbourhood, FBI Dallas spokesperson Katie Chaumont said.   

(With inputs from agencies)   

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