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28 May, 2009 20:14

Gunman killed in bungled armed robbery

An armed man was shot dead in a shootout with police on Thursday after an attempted robbery at a store in Moscow. Police have arrested a second gunman.

The lives of staff and customers were put at risk at the store in south-east Moscow on Thursday night after two armed men broke in and attempted a robbery.

There are no reports of injuries among the staff or customers.

A police spokesman told RIA Novosti that one of the abductors was shot dead, while his accomplice was injured and arrested.

Police now report that at 9:30pm two robbers entered a grocery store in a densely populated residential area in south-eastern Moscow and demanded that staff empty the cash register.

A store worker reportedly was able to press the emergency button, and the police came immediately.

Officers launched a special operation to stop them. The attackers were found to be carrying non-lethal weapons.

Earlirt police reports suggested the staff and customers were taken hostage.

“The criminals were blocked inside the store and took the staff and customers hostage. They were taken by storm before the arrival of a police SWAT team,” a police spokesman said.

Police now reject earlier reports that the gunmen took hostages during the raid. They say it was a plain robbery with no ransom demands.

The incident comes one month after off-duty police officer Denis Yevsyukov went on the rampage in the capital, killing two people and injuring seven. He was revealed to have used a gun that had been on the police wanted list for nine years.

Prosecutors have charged former major Yevsyukov while survivors are suing the Moscow government.

Several police units were dispatched to the scene shortly after the robbery got under way.