Bomb-wielding man believed to be holding hostages at Clinton campaign office
A man with a bomb strapped to his chest walked into a Hillary Clinton campaign office in New Hampshire and is believed to be holding staffers hostage, according to several reports.
Details were still emerging about the situation early Friday afternoon, but Clinton was not in New Hampshire Friday. The man walked into the office around 1 p.m. Friday and apparently demanded to speak with the New York senator.
Authorities know of at least two hostages being held at the office, and "the potential for harm to those hostages is high," police Maj. Michael Hambrook told WHDH television. The hostage take also released a child and adult who had been held hostage, Hambrook said; the ages of those remaining was unknown.
It was unclear whether the hostage-taker was targeting Clinton, who has canceled a scheduled campaign stop in Virginia Friday.
"There are sharp shooters on the roof, and police are negotiating with someone in the building," one witness, who did not want to be identified, told WMUR TV. "The police are notifying all the business owners on the street to evacuate. There are fire trucks behind the Hillary Clinton office."
Authorities appear to have cleared the area around the office, in downtown Rochester, NH. Video of the scene broadcast Friday afternoon on MSNBC showed empty streets around the office, with police cars posted outside.
It was not immediately clear what was happening inside the office, and police have asked television stations to stop broadcasting live images of the offices so as not to interfere with their attempts to negotiate with the hostage-taker.
Witness Lettie Tzizik told WMUR that she spoke to a woman shortly after she was released from the office by the hostage-taker.
"A young woman with a 6-month or 8-month-old infant came rushing into the store just in tears, and she said, 'You need to call 911. A man has just walked into the Clinton office, opened his coat and showed us a bomb strapped to his chest with duct tape."
Capt. Paul Callaghan, of the Rochester police department, told MSNBC that police had evacuated a two- to three-square block area around the campaign office, as well as a nearby elementary and middle school.
The New Hampshire State Police bomb squad arrived on the scene shortly before 2 p.m. Friday, Callaghan said. He would not say how many campaign staffers were being held hostage.
More information is available from local TV stations WMUR and WCVB.
This video is from MSNBC, broadcast on November 30, 2007.