Gunmen flee Venezuela bank with hostages
UPDATE: The Associated Press is reporting that the gunmen have surrendered, and the remaining hostages have been freed.
Hopefully this hostage crisis can be swiftly resolved:
ALTAGRACIA DE ORITUCO, Venezuela -- Armed Venezuelan bank robbers sped away from a police siege Tuesday in an ambulance with a handful of hostages after a deal that freed dozens of other captives in a two-day standoff.
Police agreed in talks with the four hostage-takers not to pursue the white ambulance that screeched through this usually quiet farming town in central Venezuela.
As it sped away, hundreds of police and relatives and friends of hostages streamed into the bank to find those who had been freed.
The hostage-takers, all in their 20s and carrying pistols and a hand grenade, have agreed to free the remaining captives from the ambulance later Tuesday, officials said.
Security forces were tracking the vehicle from afar so that they could pick up the hostages when they are released, a National Guard official told reporters. The dozens of hostages were seized early Monday when the four men botched a robbery. Estimates of the precise number of captives ranged from about 30 to more than 60.