Russian police free hostages at prison

Two convicted murderers kidnapped six staff members at a maximum security prison in Russia on Friday, but police attacked the men as they tried to escape and freed the hostages.

The two inmates in their 20s, both serving prison sentences until 2025, took the female staff members hostage at a hospital within the No. 4 prison in the northwestern city of Pskov, regional prisons service spokeswoman Yuliya Alyoshina said.

The prisoners — armed with scalpels, knives and scissors — locked the captives in a closet and demanded that police give them vodka, cash and a getaway car, Alyoshina told the AP.

Police offered the prisoners a getaway car, prompting them to free a 72-year-old hostage, said Alyoshina. But as the criminals proceeded to the vehicle with the others hostages, police opened fire, wounding one of inmates and freeing the five remaining captives, she said.

One of the hostages was slightly wounded with a knife, regional prison authorities later said in a web-posted statement.