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Russian School Standoff Ends After Student Kills Two People

Feb. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Russian police freed 20 students taken hostage in a Moscow school by an armed classmate after he killed a teacher and an officer dispatched to the scene.

The suspected assailant, who was carrying two rifles, was captured alive, an Interior Ministry spokesman, Andrey Pilipchuk, said by phone. The teacher died from his wounds after being shot by the student, the Investigative Committee said in a statement on its website.

When the gunman arrived at School No. 263 in the northern district of Otradnoye, a security guard tried unsuccessfully to stop him and raised the alarm, the law enforcement body said. The 10th grader fired at police officers who entered the school, wounding one and killing the other, it said.

Russia has seen high-profile mass shootings that included a November 2012 attack on a Moscow office by a gunman in which his six co-workers died and the killing of at least six people in Belgorod last April. An assault by Islamic militants on a school in Beslan, North Ossetia, in September 2004 left 350 people dead, half of them children.

The authorities have tightened security across the country after two suicide bombings killed more than 30 people in December in the southern city of Volgograd and threats emerged against the Winter Olympics that kick off this weekend in Sochi.

The weapons used in today’s attack, which included a small-caliber rifle and a gun for hunting, were registered to the assailant’s father, RIA Novosti reported, citing Anatoly Yakunin, head of Moscow police.

The student fired 11 shots from the rifle during the standoff, an Investigative Committee spokesman, Vladimir Markin, was quoted as saying by state-run RIA. A criminal case was started into the incident, the law-enforcement agency said in its statement.

To contact the reporters on this story: Vladimir Kuznetsov in Moscow at vkuznetsov2@bloomberg.net; Henry Meyer in Moscow at hmeyer4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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