Irakli Kvaratskhelia, one of the 19 hostages, claims that the assailant is armed, has an open grenade, and is demanding half a million dollars.
According to him, the hostage-taker demands $ 500,000 in cash. He also requires a helicopter or safe passage in a car with hostages.
"First of all, he demands the Special Forces to leave the perimeter. He does not contact the police himself. He contacts the police through the hostages. He says that we will survive if the requirements are met. In that case, he guarantees our safety. There are no children with us, but there are women," Irakli Kvaratskhelia said.
According to the hostage, there are 19 hostages in the same room with the kidnapper. The kidnapper is armed with a machine gun and a grenade.
"There are 19 people in the building, we are in the same room, next to us is a kidnapper armed, with a machine gun, a pistol, and a grenade, with a protector removed from it. He constantly holds the grenade in hand, so any violent solution to this situation is out of the question, as it will result in death.
The captor demands $ 500,000, and someone, unarmed, who has the legitimacy to negotiate, must enter the place as soon as possible. The attacker is alone, and he is by my side now," Kvaratskhelia said.
He said law enforcement officers had been communicating with the kidnapper and attempting to negotiate, although no one had entered the building so far.
"They only promised they would enter, but we have been here for an hour, and no one came in. It is unknown when anyone will come in," the hostage said.
A gunman broke into the Bank of Georgia on Gamsakhurdia Street in Zugdidi's center and took hostages.