Negotiations are continuing to secure the release of the remaining passengers on board a hijacked bus in Athens. Earlier the two hostage-takers agreed to release five of the 26 people who were on board the bus when they seized it early this morning in a suburb of the Greek capital. The two men and three women emerged one by one.
According to some of those released the men are armed with rifles and dynamite. They were also said to be Russian but there is still confusion over their nationality. Earlier reports had suggested they were Albanian. Both Russian and Albanian diplomats have been called to the scene to help negotiators.
It has also been claimed the hijackers have demanded a one million dollar ransom and that they be driven to the airport to fly out of the country. The driver, a ticket inspector and a passenger escaped in the early moments of the drama. The men are said to have threatened to harm their captives if a replacement driver is not sent to the bus. Hundreds of specialist police and a number of snipers have taken up positions around the coach. There have been several bus hijackings in Greece in recent years – two involving Albanians ended in fatalities.