At least 20 women and children held hostage in north Indian village

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Lucknow (Reuters) – At least 20 children and women have been held hostage at a house in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh for about eight hours by a man who had invited the children on the pretext of hosting a birthday party, police said on Thursday.

The man, who is serving a life sentence for murder and was out on parole, opened fire and injured two police officers and a villager near Farrukhabad in western Uttar Pradesh, PV Ramashastry, the Additional Director General Of police said.

“He had called the children on the pretext of a birthday party and held them hostage. He opened fire on villagers,” Ramashastry said.

The man had invited some children and women of Farrukhabad, saying he was throwing a birthday party for his daughter. He held the invitees hostage at gunpoint after they reached his house. The man’s motive is not clear, nor is the number of women and children.

A team of counter terrorism forces along with local police are trying to rescue the hostages, police said.