'Ndrangheta convict takes hostages

Negotiations start in Reggio Emilia

(ANSA) - Reggio Emilia, November 5 - A man convicted last week in the sprawling 'Aemilia' trial on 'Ndrangheta Calabrian mafia infiltration in Emilia holed up in a post office near Reggio Emilia Monday, taking staff hostage with a knife, local sources said.
    According to early reports, the man, Francesco Amato, allowed all the customers out of the branch before taking hostage five staff including the woman director.
    Police are on the scene and have blocked roads and started negotiating, sources said.
    After about an hour one of the five hostages, a woman, was let out of the branch. She fainted as soon as she got out and was treated by an emergency medical team Amato had been on the run since last week's conclusion of the 'Aemilia' trial which handed down 118 sentences totalling over 1,200 years in jail, including the father of former soccer player Vincenzo Iaquinta, who got 19 years.
    Iaquinta himself got two years for weapons possession but was cleared of mafia charges.
    Amato also got 19 years and has been on the run since the sentence, police said.
    Entering the post office, he reportedly said "I'm the one who got 19 years in Aemilia".
    He was reportedly brandishing a kitchen knife.
    Police are still weighing whether to send in special forces, sources said.