Indian police rescue 23 children held hostage by criminal

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LUCKNOW, India (AP) — Authorities rescued 23 children after killing a man who held them hostage for nearly 11 hours after inviting them to his home for his daughter’s birthday party in northern India, police said Friday.

Officer Mohit Agarwal said two police officers were injured after the man, identified as Subhash Batham, fired at them on Thursday night as they tried to enter his home in Kasaria village in Uttar Pradesh state.

Home Secretary Avanish Awasthi said Batham’s wife was also killed in the exchange of gunfire.

Efforts to negotiate Batham’s surrender had failed, police said.

Agarwal said he was a suspect in a murder case and had been freed on bail by a court.

The incident occurred in Farrukhabad, a small town 300 kilometers (200 miles) southwest of Lucknow, the state capital.

The motive for Batham taking the children hostage was not immediately known.

Agarwal said he was drunk when the police encounter occurred.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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