Estonian Hostage-Taker Identified

World | August 12, 2011, Friday // 09:52|  views

Estonian police forces have identified the dead gunman who took hostages at the defense ministry headquarters. Photo by

Estonian investigative authorities have identified the gunman who took hostages at the defense ministry headquarters Thursday and died in a subsequent shootout with the police as two captives escaped unscathed.

According to Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, as quoted by skynews, the hostage taker is Karen Drambjan, 57, an  Armenian-born lawyer and a member of the marginal left-wing United Left Party.

'This is depressing. It looks like someone has been inspired by the events in Norway,' Mr Ansip told the local Delfi news agency, citing the the July 22 Utoya shootings and the Oslo bombing in which Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people.

'The motive of his action remains unclear,' Ansip added.

Earlier reports suggested he was an ex-soldier, but the hypothesis was disputed by officials.

Drambjan was also originally believed to be protesting staff cuts at the defense ministry's administration.

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Tags: hostage crisis, Estonia, Breivik, Utoya


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