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Hostage situation in New Hampshire ends with suspect arrested
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10:34, December 01, 2007

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The hostage siege that took place in former First Lady Hillary Clinton's campaign office in Rochester, Hew Hampshire, ended with the suspect arrested by the police on Friday.

The suspect, identified by police as Leeland Eisenberg, surrendered to the police by walking out of the storefront office, holding out his hands and lying on the ground. A CNN live report showed the suspect was handcuffed by the police and taken to a police vehicle.

The man, claiming to be carrying an explosive device strapped on his chest, walked into the simple storefront office shortly before 1600 GMT and took hostage of an unknown number of people working inside the office.

During the standoff, which lasted over five hours, the suspect first released a woman and her baby, then released the hostages one after another. With the last hostage released, Eisenberg surrendered to the police.

Local media reports said Eisenberg, after walking out of the storefront office, put down a homemade bomb-like package on the ground and was immediately surrounded by the police with guns drawn.

Authorities believe that the device Eisenburg had strapped to his chest was made with road flares, not a bomb.

According to local media, Eisenberg, who is believed to have mental and family problems, has demanded to speak to Hillary Clinton.

Local reports said Eisenburg made local headlines in March when he held a news conference on the steps of Rochester City Hall to complain about a police policy.

After the hostage crisis ended, Hillary Clinton issued a statement expressed gratitude that the crisis ended peacefully and that her staff and volunteers were safe.

"It's been a difficult, but eventually gratifying day the way it worked out. We've had nothing on our minds except the safety of these young people who work for me," she said.

The former First Lady said she was heading to New Hampshire to thank police and talk to her staffers.

Hillary Clinton was in the Washington D.C. area when the incident occurred. But the confrontation brought her campaign to a standstill just five weeks before the New Hampshire primary, which is one of the first tests of the presidential campaign season.

After the incident, Hillary Clinton cancelled her presence at the fall conference of the Democratic National Committee in Vienna, Virginia, where other presidential candidates delivered speech one by one.

Source: Xinhua

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