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Greek prison hostage-taker surrenders

March 17, 2013 at 8:28 PM

ATHENS, Greece, March 17 (UPI) -- A convicted murderer with a history of escapes ended his hostage-taking episode at a Greek prison Sunday night by surrendering, authorities said.

The Greek Reporter said authorities said Alket Rizaj gave himself up when he realized police special forces were ready to storm his position at Maladrino Prison in central Greece. Police had tried to smoke him out earlier.

Ekathimerini.com reported the hostages were said to be in good health.

Rizaj took hostage six guards Saturday in a bid to escape jail a third time. One hostage escaped before he surrendered.

Rizaj told hostage negotiators he was carrying a hand grenade and had packed his body with explosives he intended to set off unless granted free passage out of the prison, the newspaper Kathimerini reported.

It turns out he was bluffing about the explosives and was only armed with makeshift knives.

Two other inmates believed to have helped Rizaj were arrested.

The Reporter said Rizaj had escaped Athens' maximum-security Kordyallos Prison by helicopter in 2006 and 2009.

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