PARIS — Masked French gendarmes detained a 17-year-old who took a class full of preschoolers hostage Monday, releasing all the children safely after hours of tense negotiations that drew nationwide attention.
"The hostage-taking is over," Jean-Marc Magda, aide to the mayor of the eastern French city of Besancon, told The Associated Press by telephone. All 20 children who had been taken hostage and their teacher were released safely, he said.
The hostage-taker was detained, and remained inside the school with officers from a specialist gendarme force brought in to deal with the situation, Magda said.
French television showed a wide-eyed girl being draped with a green blanket and carried away from the school. Police and worried families had surrounded the school since early in the day.