HomeWorldNightclub hostage standoff in Dutch town ends with arrest of man

Nightclub hostage standoff in Dutch town ends with arrest of man

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A nine-hour hostage incident at a nightclub in the eastern Netherlands has ended after police arrested a man wearing a balaclava when he left the premises.

“The last hostage has just been released. One person has been arrested,” a police statement said. “We cannot share more information at this time.”

Four employees were taken hostage at Cafe Petticoat in the town of Ede, located about 80km (50 miles) south-east of Amsterdam. Officials said at a news briefing that the suspect, who was previously known to police, had threatened the hostages with knives. There was no indication of a terrorist motive, police said.

An initial group of three people were released, with pictures from the public broadcaster NOS showing them leaving the building with their hands in the air. A fourth hostage was freed shortly afterwards, with the suspected hostage-taker then arrested.

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

Map showing location of Ede in the Netherlands

Special police units had been deployed to the nightclub, which is located in the centre of town, police said on social media. Authorities evacuated about 150 homes during the incident and trains to and from Ede were cancelled.

At one point, a police explosives unit attended the scene with a remote-controlled robot.

The Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, said: “Much respect and appreciation for the police, emergency services and the special interventions service who managed to bring the hostage situation in a cafe in Ede to a successful conclusion. I wish everyone involved a lot of strength to deal with this intense and drastic event.”

The mayor of Ede, René Verhulst, said at a press conference: “As far as we know, it was a Dutch man, a Dutch citizen, and he is known by the police.”

Verhulst said the hostages were “very emotional” and were now with their families. Police would be speaking with them, along with the hostage-taker, he said.

“Fortunately, we are happy,” Verhulst said. “There was a lot of emotion; we had to evacuate the area, but in the end, everything was fine.”

He said he would soon visit the hostages, who were employees of the nightclub.

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