Gunmen are holding the kindergarten class at Cambodian school

Gunmen stormed into a school in the Cambodian town of Siem Reap near Angkor Wat on Thursday and took 29 kindergarten pupils hostage, many of them the sons and daughters of expatriate hotel workers, a resident said.

The resident, who said she had seen a list of the children held, told Reuters the hostages were American, Irish, British, Australian, Singaporean, Canadian, Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese, Swiss, Indonesian, Indian, Italian and Filipino.

"The gunmen let one class go, but they are holding the &to=http:// ' target=_blank>kindergarten class," the resident said.

Soldiers and police sealed off the area around the Siem Reap International School, while officials negotiated with five or six hostage-takers thought to be demanding up to $30,000 and a 12-seater van to make their escape, reports Reuters.

Authorities were communicating with the &to=http:// ' target=_blank>hostage-takers by mobile phone, the deputy military police commander said.

Foreign students also appeared to be among the hostages, Seim Reap police official Ou Em said.

Further details about the incident were not immediately available.

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