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Hostage situation unfolds in Western Australia

 
 
 
 
 
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Police have cordoned off a park area in Bunbury, Western Australia, where a man with explosives took at least one person hostage, according to local media.

Police have confirmed there is a hostage situation in a park near the corner of Koombana Drive in Bunbury, according to a GWN7 News reporter.

The situation began unfolding at around 8pm local time (12.00 GMT).

It is believed that the man is in possession of explosive, however this information has not yet been confirmed.

Local media report the hostage taker is a middle-aged man; he’s sitting cross-legged next to the hostage, who’s lying face down on the ground.

The man also appears to have erected a sign with a message to law enforcement officials on a car parked near the Koombana Drive bridge. The sign reportedly says: “Release Batty Archibald CCC Report”.

The Bunbury Mail newspaper says a sniper is locked on to the hostage taker, who has been reportedly speaking on the mobile phone.

Law enforcement officers have described the situation as “volatile.”

A Tactical Response Team has been deployed to attend the siege situation, Nine News Australia reported.

Snipers have arrived at the area, according to local reporters tweeting from the scene. Dog squads, firefighters and ambulances are also in attendance.

Residents have been warned to avoid the area, which is not far from a popular fishing spot and the Grand Cinemas in Bunbury.

Heavily armed police have arrived at the scene and have asked reporters in the vicinity to leave the area.

Bunbury is the third largest city in Western Australia with a population over 68,000 people. It is located about 175 kilometers south-west of Perth.

The Bunbury incident follows a Perth siege in June in which five people were taken hostage by a man allegedly wielding a gun. Police freed the hostages after shooting at the 26-year old assailant, critically injuring him.

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