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Alabama Hostage Standoff Enters Its Fifth Day

posted 2 Feb 2013, 09:07 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 2 Feb 2013, 09:08 ]

Tense standoff continues in Alabama as law enforcement officials ring the property of a retired trucker and accused of holding a 5-year old boy hostage in an underground bunker.

MIDLAND CITYALABAMAUNITED STATES (FEBRUARY 2, 2013) (REUTERS) -  A tense standoff continued for the fifth day on Saturday (February 2) as law enforcement officials gathered around the property of Jimmy Lee Dykes, a retired trucker and Vietnam veteran accused of fatally shooting a school bus driver and then holding a 5-year old boy hostage in an underground bunker.

Heavily armed law enforcement officials have ringed Dykes' property since soon after the hostage drama began. Emergency personnel were also at the scene. Sporadic negotiations with the suspect have taken place through a PVC pipe connected to the subterranean bunker.

Officials say a gunman on Tuesday (January 29) demanded that a student be let off a bus carrying more than 20 children home from school. When the driver, Charles AlbertPoland, 66, refused, the suspect shot him several times and fled the scene with a kindergarten student, police said.

Officials have said the boy seized from the bus is believed to be unharmed. Dykes had been due to appear for a bench trial on Wednesday (January 30) after his arrest last month on a menacing charge involving one of his neighbors, court records showed.