TBILISI (Reuters) - A masked gunman wearing a military uniform has released all but three of 19 hostages taken in a raid on a branch of the commercial Bank of Georgia on Wednesday, private TV channel Mtavari reported.
The gunman stormed into the bank in the provincial town of Zugdidi at 3 p.m. (1100 GMT) and demanded a sum of $500,000.
Negotiations between the gunman and police in the former Soviet republic ensued and continued into the late evening after most hostages were freed, including a pregnant woman.
Mtavari TV reported from the scene that the gunman had come out of the bank building still holding three hostages, one of whom was acting as a negotiator.
Police and local authorities had no immediate comment.
Georgian TV channels showed freed hostages heading to cars accompanied by relatives. One of those freed wrote on his Facebook page that the release took place after some money was brought to the gunman.
Reporting by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Mark Heinrich
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