Latin America & Caribbean

Brazilian man 'taken hostage' in Brasilia hotel

Police special forces are deployed at a hotel where an unidentified man is threatening a hotel employee on 29 September, 2014. Image copyright AFP
Image caption Police special forces are at the scene

Police have surrounded a hotel in Brazil's capital, Brasilia, where a man is apparently holding another hostage.

About 300 people were in the hotel when a man stepped on to a balcony on the 13th floor holding what looked like a gun to the temple of a hotel employee.

The hostage is handcuffed and is wearing a vest stuffed with white cylinders.

Police said they could neither confirm whether the gun was real nor whether the cylinders could be explosives.

The hotel has been evacuated and fire-fighters and police are at the scene.

Guests told local media the man knocked on the doors of their rooms on the 13th floor and told them to leave because he was about to perform a "terrorist act".

He then repeatedly stepped on to a balcony, threatening the handcuffed hotel employee.

Police said negotiations were under way and that the man was making "political statements".

Hostage situations are not uncommon in Brazilian prisons, but for someone to be taken hostage in a central hotel of the capital is very unusual.

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