June 22, 2016 / 11:07 PM / 4 years ago

Quebec hostage-taking ends with female officer released

MONTREAL (Reuters) - A hostage-taking at a detention center in Sept-Iles, Quebec, has ended peacefully, with two suspects surrendering and a female correctional officer released unharmed, police said on Wednesday.

The incident ended early Wednesday evening with the arrest of two suspects, ages 22 and 26, according to Sergeant Helene Nepton, a spokeswoman for Quebec’s provincial police force.

The incident began around 3:30 p.m. (1930 GMT) at the detention center in Sept-Iles, located some 650 km northeast of the provincial capital of Quebec City.

Nepton could not say how the suspects had been able to take the female guard hostage, but said that she was safe and sound.

The detention center is located in the basement of the Sept-Iles courthouse, said Patrick Melo, a director of a union representing Quebec’s special constables who work in courthouses.

There were two special constables on duty Wednesday at the courthouse, but that number will be raised to five on Thursday to provide additional security, Melo said by phone from Quebec City.

He said the union has long called for higher staffing and better maintenance at courthouses in outlying areas of the province.

With additional reporting by Catherine Ngai in Calgary, Alberta and Jeffrey Hodgson in Toronto; Editing by Leslie Adler

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