Man arrested as hostage situation in Dutch nightclub ends

BBC || Shining BD

Published: 3/31/2024 5:23:20 AM

A hostage situation at a nightclub in an eastern Dutch town has come to an end after a man was arrested.

Four people had been taken hostage when he entered Café Petticoat, in Ede, early on Saturday morning threatening to blow himself up, local media said.

An initial group of three people were released, and the fourth emerged some six hours after the incident began. Police said the suspect's motive is still unclear and that his mental state is being investigated.

Authorities were alerted to a possible hostage situation around 05:15 local time (04:15 GMT), Dutch broadcaster NOS reported.

Anne Jan Oosterheert, head of operations of the East Netherlands police, said the force was at the site within two minutes.

Officials said the suspect had a black backpack and several knives with him, which he showed to the hostages. Residents in about 150 homes around the area were evacuated and the town centre was closed down.

Mayor René Verhulst said the incident "affected a lot of people" and "emotions are high".

The hostages were employees who were cleaning when the suspect entered the nightclub, he added.

After the final hostage was released, the suspect emerged from the nightclub wearing a balaclava. He was then handcuffed and led away by police.

Anti-explosives units and police in protective gear were pictured at the scene. Trains to and from Ede were cancelled, railway operator NS said on its website.

Ms Oosterheert said nearly all of the police's specialist teams were deployed.

She added that the hostages were being looked after following their release.

"We spoke briefly to the victims. They are extremely shocked. All care and attention will go to them, in co-operation with the municipality, to make sure they get all the support they need," she said.

Shining BD