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Australia siege ends with suspect's death

  |   March 3, 2013 at 10:13 AM
MELBOURNE, March 3 (UPI) -- Australian authorities said a fugitive nicknamed "Mad Dog" was killed when fire consumed the Melbourne bungalow where he was barricaded for 43 hours.

Officials Sunday confirmed the death of Antonio "Mad Dog" Loguancio 43 hours after the police siege of the residence began.

"When we were eventually able to control the fire, the body of a man was found inside the premises," an unnamed police spokesman told reporters.

Loguancio was one of the most wanted fugitives in Victoria with multiple counts of assault and rape on his rap sheet, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. said.

Loguancio was being sought late Friday for allegedly assaulting his partner, but he refused to come out and holed up in the rear of the north side home. Negotiations with police went nowhere and Loguancio at one point threatened to set fire to the residence, police said.

"At about 1:00 p.m. this afternoon, the siege escalated with a series of shots being fired from the bungalow," police said, adding, "At about 2:00pm this afternoon, the bungalow was seen to be on fire."

A friend of the suspect who was at the scene told the ABC Loguancio apparently knew he could not hold out much longer. "He told me it was going to end today," said Mick Collett.. "He knew something was happening because he said to me 'the blind has gone up in the house next door.'"

The cause of Loguancio's death will be determined by the coroner, police said.

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