Police: Armed man holding some 20 people hostage in Ukraine

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A gunman armed and carrying explosives has taken roughly 20 people hostage on a bus in northwest Ukraine on Tuesday, authorities said.

It's not immediately clear whether anyone has been injured. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy – who is personally monitoring the hostage situation in the city of Lutsk — said that the gunman took control of the bus at 9:25 a.m. local time.

“Gunshots have been heard, the bus is damaged,” Zelenskiy said in a Facebook statement. He added that authorities are attempting to resolve the situation without casualties.

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The man reportedly called the police after taking control of the bus, and introduced himself as Maksim Plokhoy, Deputy Interior Minister Anton Gerashchenko said on Facebook. He said there's a book online titled "Philosophy of a criminal" which was signed by Maksim Plokhoy and describes a man's experience in prison.

“For 15 years they've been correcting me, but I haven't been corrected, on the contrary — I've become even more who I am,” one extract from the book said, according to Gerashchenko.

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Police sealed off the center of Lutsk, which is located about 250 miles west of Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov is also flying to the city, according to reports.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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