Two prisoners take guard hostage at French jail

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The guard who was held hostage throughout the night was released unharmed on Thursday morning after authorities sent negotiators to the prison in Ensisheim.

Ensisheim – Two prisoners held a guard hostage in northeastern France throughout the night by handcuffing him to a bed, but he was released unharmed on Thursday morning, officials said.

The detainees took the guard hostage late Wednesday afternoon, prompting authorities to send negotiators to the prison in Ensisheim to attempt to defuse the situation.

One of the prisoners peacefully gave himself up shortly after 1:00 am, but negotiations dragged on early Thursday with the second detainee, said Bernard Cabon of the prison guard union.

Union member David Daems said early Thursday the second prisoner gave up and the hostage was unharmed.

Junior justice minister Jean-Marie Bockel had earlier confirmed negotiations were ongoing. Another union member said the prisoners had previously threatened to cut off one of the guard's fingers.

"They tackled him to the ground," Eric Gemmerle of the UFAP union said before the prisoners surrendered. "They are very determined. They are armed with razor blades and forks."

Cabon said one of the prisoners lured the guard into the cell by saying a mobile phone was found there.

He said the two prisoners were aged 30 and 46, with one serving an 18-year sentence for theft with violence leading to death and the other serving 13 years for kidnapping and holding someone captive.

Union member Eric Wiplier said the prisoners had demanded to be transferred together to another prison.

AFP / Expatica

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