Half a dozen nursery-school children and their teacher have been released safely from a siege in the east of France.
The youngsters were re-united with their parents in Besançon after four hours at the hands of a 17-year old youth armed with two swords.
Wrapped in blankets, the children – aged between four and six – were carried away by relatives.
Police cleared the Charles Fourier kindergarten building and cordoned off the area.
The assailant had walked into the school just as doors were opening for the day’s classes.
To begin with he was holding 20 young hostages, but released 14 of them relatively quickly.
As elite police units worked their way closer, negotiators were in direct contact with the kidnapper by phone.
The city’s mayor said the teenager was in a very bad mental state.
The French education minister Luc Chatel went to the scene.
Authorities have already set up pychological support facilities for the parents and children involved.
The kidnapper was arrested and questioned by police.