Picture used for illustrative purpose. File
An armed man seized a bus and took some 20 people hostage in northwestern Ukraine on Tuesday, Ukrainian police said.
Police sealed off the center of Lutsk, a city 400 kilometers (250 miles) west of Kyiv,. The assailant is armed and carrying explosives, they said in a Facebook statement.
Police officers are trying to get in touch with the man. He called the police himself at 9:25 a.m. (0725 GMT) after taking control of the bus and introduced himself as Maksim Plokhoy, Deputy Interior Minister Anton Gerashchenko said on Facebook.
Gerashchenko said there is a book online, signed by Maksim Plokhoy and titled "Philosophy of a criminal,” describing a man's experience in prison.
Five killed as Israeli missile strikes south of Syrian capital
Landslides, flooding block main highway to Nepal's capital
EU reaches 'historic' deal on post-pandemic recovery
"For 15 years they've been correcting me, but I haven't been corrected, on the contrary - I've become even more who I am,” one extract from the book said, according to Gerashchenko.
Interior Minister Arsen Avakov is flying to Lutsk.
Ukrainian media reported that gunshots could be heard at the scene. It wasn't immediately clear whether anyone has been injured.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he is personally monitoring the situation. "Gunshots have been heard, the bus is damaged,” Zelenskiy said in a Facebook statement, adding that measures are being taken to resolve the situation without casualties.
The Taliban however claimed the attack was actually a coordinated insurgent assault on the checkpoint where the shooting took place, killing over two dozen militiamen, according to Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.
The governor of Luhansk warned that Ukrainian soldiers may have to retreat from Sievierodonetsk to avoid being surrounded. But he predicted an ultimate Ukrainian victory.
Nearly 40 miles (60 kilometres) to the east, Russian troops on Saturday sought to encircle Ukrainian defenders in the manufacturing center of Sievierodonetsk, where the fighting cut power and cellphone service and terrorised the civilians who hadn't fled.
Rescuers, including the Philippine Coast Guard and fishermen, saved 195 passengers and 35 crew as the blaze ripped through the ferry off Baluk-Baluk Island in Basilan province.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed expressed his thanks to Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad for his congratulations and the sincere fraternal feelings he showed, wishing the brotherly State of Qatar and its people further progress and development.
Sheikh Sultan’s statement reads, “The Ruler of Sharjah congratulates Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan on his appointment as Vice President."
Sheikh Mohammed said, “I congratulate my brothers Sheikh Hazaa, Sheikh Tahnoun, Sheikh Mansour and Sheikh Khaled Bin Mohamed for the confidence in the President of the State. In you and your brothers, the leaders of the new generation, the march continues.”