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WASHINGTON – One of the hostages kidnapped in a Texas synagogue was released this Saturday in good health after being held for more than six hours., while the FBI continued to negotiate with the suspect, local police reported.
Shortly after 5:00 p.m., “a male hostage was released without injury,” and was expected to be reunited with his family “as soon as possible,” the Colleyville Police Department said in a statement. located 43 kilometers (27 miles) northwest of Dallas.
Police did not provide further details on the number of hostages left inside., or the circumstances of the release of that first hostage, and only assured that the FBI continues to negotiate with the suspect.
According to a police source consulted by CNN, at the beginning of the kidnapping there were at least four hostages inside the synagogue of the Beth Israel congregation, in Colleyville, and one of them was a rabbi.
According to US officials quoted by CNN, ABC and NBC, the suspect claims to be the brother of Pakistani scientist Aafia Siddiqui, imprisoned at a US air base near Colleyville.
The kidnapper calls for the release of his sister, who is serving an 86-year prison sentence for trying to kill US soldiers and FBI agents while in detention in Afghanistan.
The hostage-taking occurred during a religious service at the synagogue of the Beth Israel congregation, which was being broadcast live on the institution’s website on Facebookreported the local newspaper Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
More than 8,000 people connected to the video of the live broadcast once the first information emerged on social networks about what happened, until the broadcast was finally suspended without the situation inside the synagogue having been resolved.
The video did not show what was happening inside the building., but in it you could hear an angry man talking about religion, insisting that he did not want to hurt anyone and that he was going to die, according to the Star-Telegram.
Before the video stopped broadcasting, what appeared to be negotiations over the phone between the suspect and the agents were heard, the newspaper said.
US President Joe Biden has received information about the situation in Colleyville and will keep an eye on developments in the coming hours, his spokesperson, Jen Psaki, said on his Twitter account.
The Colleyville Police Department claimed on its Twitter account that it had an elite SWAT operations team. deployed in the block where the synagogue is located, confirmed that it had evacuated the surrounding area and asked not to approach the area.
The event has caused police protection to be reinforced in several synagogues and Jewish institutions in large cities in the country, such as Dallas, New York or Los Angeles (California), to detect any possible anti-Semitic threat derived from what happened in Colleyville.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.