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Cyprus

Police take statements after hostage-taker shot dead by officers  

The scene outside the Oroklini apartment on Saturday

Police were continuing to take statements on Sunday in connection with the shooting by officers early Saturday of an Egyptian national, 41, they said was threatening the life of his 16-month old son at the family’s flat in Oroklini.

Though many questions were left unanswered on Saturday as to the exact circumstances of the shooting, Larnaca Press reported on Sunday that the man had been standing over the child ready to carry out his threat when police fired five rubber bullets into him.

This failed to stop him so they shot him in the chest with a live round. The toddler sustained a 10cm long and 3cm deep knife wound from his cheek to his neck. Police said the cut had come close to the boy’s carotid artery and that they had to act to save his life.

The hostage siege had lasted more than 12 hours during which the man had set fires in the flat, threw Molotov cocktails outside at police and had at one point opened a gas line.

Larnaca Press said police had already taken dozens of statements including many from neighbours of the Egyptian man and his 36-year-old Hungarian wife who was not inside the flat at the time of the all-night stand-off. The report said police believe the man may have been under the influence of drugs at the time.

The toddler was rushed to hospital as soon as the situation was resolved and was later admitted to the Makarios hospital in Nicosia. His injury was not life-threatening.

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