Europe

Gunman dies at Estonian defence ministry in Tallinn

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Media captionPolice outside the ministry of defence in central Tallinn

A gunman has died in a shoot-out with police at Estonia's defence ministry in Tallinn, reports say.

The motives of the gunman - named as Karen Drambjan, an Estonian citizen born in Armenia - remain unclear.

He entered the building firing a pistol and setting off a smoke bomb shortly after 15:00 (12:00 GMT), officials said.

The building was quickly evacuated and police cordoned off the area.

Ministry employees jumped out of windows to flee the scene, TV images showed. Defence Minister Mart Laar was not in the ministry at the time of the incident.

Image caption Estonian prosecutors said the gunman was killed in a shoot-out with police

Officials said armed police wearing body armour entered the building about two hours later when the gunman was killed in a firefight. One policeman was injured.

Officials denied early reports by Estonia's national broadcaster ERR that he had served in Estonia's army and had taken a security guard hostage.

"Hostages were not taken during the incident, although two people who had been in the ministry of defence were briefly in the hands of the perpetrator," said Estonian prosecutors.

They added that the gunman had been born in Armenia in 1954 and spoke Russian, but made no demands during the incident. An investigation has been opened.

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