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Police End Bloody Tour Bus Hijacking

A masked man armed with a high-caliber weapon staged a bloody hijacking Friday of a sightseeing coach carrying 24 German and foreign tourists, intensifying concerns about security in European cities at the height of the summer tourist season.

The seven-hour drama ended in bloodshed when police commandos, armed with iron bars, flares and guns, stormed the bus late in the afternoon, killing the gunman. As of Friday evening, police were identifying him only as an Israeli citizen of Russian origin.

One hostage was also found dead on the bus after the raid. In a news conference, police said she was a 60-year-old German woman, who they believed had been shot by the hijacker just before the vehicle was stormed.

The gunman also fatally shot the 26-year-old driver of the bus near the start of the incident and wounded an approaching police officer in the stomach.

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