Hostage Crisis in Australia, Attacker Has Bombs

Man with explosives strapped to his body takes at least 1 person hostage in park in Western Australian town of Bunbury.

Ari Yashar,

Australian counter-terror police (file)
Australian counter-terror police (file)
Reuters

In Western Australia, a park in the town of Bunbury was cordoned off by police on Thursday after at least one person was taken hostage by an assailant thought to be armed with explosives.

The park is located on the corner of Koombana Drive, the main road in town, and Blair Street, and mass police forces are present together with firefighters and ambulances, reports the Australian ABC. Bunbury is located 170 kilometers (just over 100 miles) southwest of Perth.

Police officers wearing bulletproof vests are reportedly lying in wait near the site of the hostage standoff.

Reportedly the attacker has explosives strapped to his body. Police have confirmed that the standoff is a hostage situation, but have yet to release more details about the incident.

According to the local Bunbury Mail, a police sniper has the hostage who is described as a middle-aged man in his sights. It described the hostage-taker sitting cross-legged next to a younger person lying on the ground.

The hostage-taker was said to be talking with police on his cell phone, and the two were next to a car with a large sign displaying his demands. Reporters say the sign reads "Police release Batty Archibald CCC report."

It remains unclear who Batty Archibald is, although CCC may stand for Australia's Corruption and Crime Commission.

The police's Tactical Response Group was reported to be on its way to the scene, where canine units are already present.

The hostage situation brings to mind a hostage crisis that took place in Sydney last December, when an Islamist terrorist took a cafe hostage.

After a tense standoff that lasted several hours, police eventually stormed the cafe, shooting the Iranian-born terrorist who had pledged loyalty to Islamic State (ISIS) dead. In the exchange two of the people being held hostage were also tragically killed.


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