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Portugal restaurant siege ends with officer, gunman dead

Six others, including four police, were injured by explosions in the seven-hour ordeal.

Image: Google Streetview

A HOSTAGE-TAKER WHO barricaded himself inside a Portuguese restaurant, setting off explosives and shooting dead a police officer, was himself killed in a gunfight, according to local authorities.

Six others including four police were injured by the blasts in the seven-hour ordeal in the restaurant, gendarmerie spokesman Jorge Goulao said.

The man, described as of eastern European origin, had entered the restaurant in Pinhal Novo to eat, but then pulled out a gun and threatened customers demanding money.

Most of the customers at “The Refuge” eatery were able to flee and alert the police. The others were kept hostage.

When officers arrived, the gunman fired a shot that hit a 27-year-old gendarme in the head, killing him.

In the ensuing gun battle, the hostage-taker was killed.

One of the officers was hospitalised from the explosions, while the two civilians suffered minor injuries.

Portugal’s RTP state television network said the gunman was a Moldovan who had lived in Portugal for several years, working in the construction sector.

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He reportedly became unemployed a few months ago and was living in a car in the region after losing his house.

The network said the man had been carrying four grenades and a gun.

- © AFP, 2013

Read: Security concerns delay search of Riga store wreckage

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