Russian authorities say special forces have stormed a commercial bank in western Siberia and killed an armed man holding hostages in the institution.
Kemerovo regional governor Aman Tuleyev says the man had burst into a branch of the Ursa-Bank in the city of Leninsk-Kuznetsky and took five hostages. He says two of the captives, both women, managed to escape through a window as officials were in negotiations with the hostage-taker.
The special forces later shot and killed the perpetrator and rescued the other three hostages.
There were conflicting reports about his demands. Some say he was seeking a large sum of money. Others say he demanded the release of a jailed acquaintance and a plane to fly him out of the Kemerovo region.