Armed man breaks into a bank building in eastern Georgia

An armed man broke into a branch of the Bank of Georgia in the city of Kvareli, Kakheti Province, in the east of the country. This was stated in a statement issued by the Georgian Interior Ministry on Thursday, September 9.

“Police officers immediately after receiving a report of the attack in emergency response mode fenced off the scene and the surrounding area,” the ministry said in a statement.

According to the ministry, currently “all necessary operational and urgent measures are being taken. The area around the bank branch is fenced with yellow tape.

The unknown man may be holding 15 hostages. According to unconfirmed information, he is demanding half a million GEL ($160,800) in exchange for the hostages.

The Interior Ministry urged media workers to observe security measures and obey the demands of law enforcement agencies, RT reports.

This is not the first case of bank seizure in Georgia. On April 16 law enforcers arrested the attacker, who had taken hostages in a bank in Tbilisi. A special operation of freeing captured citizens lasted for two hours. No one was injured.

On November 20, 2020, an intoxicated man armed with a grenade also burst into a bank branch in Tbilisi. He took nine people hostage and demanded a parliament meeting to decide on abolishing gambling and interest on loans in Georgia, as well as raising pensions and lowering drug prices. Police detained the suspect after negotiations, and the hostages were released.