Hostages taken at Clinton office
'He showed us a bomb strapped to his chest,' says woman who was freed
MSNBC staff and news service reports
updated 2:34 p.m. ET, Fri., Nov. 30, 2007
ROCHESTER, N.H. - A man claiming to have a bomb walked in to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign offices Friday and took hostages, police and witnesses said.
The man had what appeared to be a bomb strapped to himself, said Bill Shaheen, a top Clinton state campaign official. He took two hostages, both volunteers, and released others, Shaheen said.
WNBC-TV in New York quoted an unidentified law enforcement source as saying the man wanted to speak with Clinton.
Clinton, who was in Washington, D.C., canceled a speaking engagement and was meeting with staffers.
Witnesses described the man as in his 40s with salt-and-pepper hair.
Shaheen said the hostages were two volunteers. "Hopefully, they're going to negotiate this so no one gets hurt," Shaheen told WMUR-TV in Rochester.
WMUR-TV quoted a woman, Lettie Tzizik, saying she spoke to someone who said she had just been released by the man.
"A young woman with a 6-month- or 8-month-old infant came rushing into the store just in tears, and she said, 'You need to call 911. A man has just walked into the Clinton office, opened his coat and showed us a bomb strapped to his chest with duct tape.'"
Police surrounded the building, evacuated the immediate area and placed other buildings, including a nearby school, under lockdown.
"There are sharpshooters on the roof, and police are negotiating with someone in the building," another witness told WMUR-TV. "There are fire trucks behind the Hillary Clinton office."
Workers for Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign office in Rochester also were evacuated, a campaign spokesman said. The office is four doors away from Clinton’s. Staffers in John Edwards’ office, a few buildings away, evacuated as well.
Located 75 miles north of Boston in neighboring Massachusetts, Rochester is home to 30,117 people and the site of one of 16 of Clinton's offices in the state, according to Clinton's campaign Web site.
This report will be updated as information becomes available.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
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"You can observe a lot just by watching." - Yogi Berra
to what point and purpose, i wonder? hillary's not the president yet. and its hardly a "sure thing." what can there be gained from this kind of action this early in a campaign?
i hate idiots...
I braced myself for silence. I brought nothing back...