April 14, 2024


It is not known how many people were initially being held

The Hague, Netherlands:

A hostage drama in the Netherlands that lasted several hours on Saturday ended without bloodshed as all hostages were freed and police took the suspect into custody.

Authorities have said there was no reason to suspect a “terrorist motive” for the ordeal, which took place at a night spot popular with young people in the town of Ede.

“The last hostage has just been released. One person has been arrested. We cannot share more information at this time,” announced police on X, formerly Twitter.

Several local media reported that a “confused” man had burst into the cafe in the early hours of Saturday morning and made threats, holding four people hostage.

The incident sparked a major deployment including riot police and explosives experts.

Police cleared the centre of the town and evacuated the residents of some 150 buildings near the cafe.

An initial group of three people were released, with pictures from public broadcaster NOS showing them exiting the building with their hands in the air.

The fourth hostage was freed shortly afterwards, with the suspected hostage-taker then arrested.

NOS images showed a man kneeling on the ground with his hands behind his back, as officers restrained him with handcuffs.

“A terrible situation for all these people. My concern and thoughts go out to them and their loved ones. I hope that the situation is now resolved quickly and safely,” said Ede mayor Rene Verhulst.

Last year, a 27-year-old man armed with two guns held several people hostage at an Apple store in Amsterdam, sparking a tense five-hour ordeal.

That stand-off ended when the suspect was hit by a police car as he chased his last hostage who made a desperate break for freedom and ran out of the store.

He later died in hospital from his injuries.

The Netherlands has seen a series of terror attacks and plots but not on the scale of other European countries, such as France or Britain.

In 2019, the country was stunned by a shooting spree on a tram in the city of Utrecht that claimed four lives.

In the most serious incident involving a terror attack, outspoken Dutch anti-Islam film director Theo van Gogh was shot and stabbed to death in 2004 in Amsterdam by a man with ties to a Dutch Islamist terror network.

 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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