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Swiss Forces Storm Consulate, End Standoff

February 7, 2005

BERN, Switzerland (AP) _ Swiss special forces stormed the Spanish consulate Monday, ending a nearly seven-hour standoff by three masked assailants who had seized hostages in what officials called an attempted robbery, police said.

The fate of the captors was not immediately clear. A special police unit entered the building around 2:30 p.m. (8:30 a.m. EST), said Juerg Mosimann, a police spokesman.

``We’re relieved,″ he said.

The three assailants, believed to be armed with knives and a handgun, took over the consulate in the Swiss capital shortly before 8 a.m. (2 a.m. EST).

One hostage, a security guard, was injured but managed to escape, Mosimann said.

Two other hostages were later let go, and Spanish authorities said there were no more employees inside.

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