Woman taken hostage in NE China

Updated: 2009-12-29 17:33
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CHANGCHUN - Police in northeast China's Jilin Province were trying to negotiate with a hostage taker to release a young woman he had been holding for about 16 hours.

Qiao Mingfei, 32, kidnapped a 23-year-old massagist with a knife at about 0:40 a.m. Tuesday when the massage house was about to close, according to the public security bureau of Changchun, the provincial capital.

The hostage taker, a native of Tonghua City of Jilin, robbed a boss of a hotel at about 4 p.m. Monday and came to the Shuijingge (crystal chamber) Foot Massage House in downtown Changchun five hours later.

Several hundreds of policemen have cordoned off the area and were trying to persuade Qiao to set the woman free.

The motive of the hostage taker was not immediately known.

Qiao was released from jail in January after he was given a death penalty with reprieve in 1994 for murder and robbery, police sources said.

Senior leaders of Jilin have asked the police to take measures to ensure the safety of the hostage.