Netherlands Hostages Released
A man (C) is detained by the Special Intervention Service (DSI) of the Dutch National Police Corps outside a cafe in the center of Ede, the Netherlands, 30 March 2024. EFE/EPA/REMKO DE WAAL

Netherlands Hostages Released


Brussels, Mar 30 (EFE).-

Police in the Netherlands on Saturday arrested a man after four people were taken hostage at a bar in the city of Ede.

“The last hostage has just been released. One person has been arrested,” provincial police said on X.

At a press conference on Saturday afternoon, head of operations of the East Netherlands police, Anne Jan Oosterheert, said officers had negotiated with the alleged hostage taker for hours during the morning.

Police were first called at around 5:15 a.m. about a possible hostage-taking at the cocktail bar, Oosterheert said: “Within two minutes we were on the scene and the situation turned out to be very serious; there were possibly explosives and knives were also seen. We then cordoned off the area.”

Authorities have ruled out a terrorist motive, an earlier statement had said, although they have not given any further details on the reasons for the kidnapping.

The head of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Eastern Netherlands, Marthyne Kunst, confirmed that the arrested man was carrying several knives which he showed to the hostages and that he also had a black backpack with him, although she said she did not know what was in the bag.

“In the coming days we will conduct a thorough investigation into this, as well as into the suspect’s mental state,” who had previously been convicted of making threats, Kunst said, in statements picked up by public broadcaster NOS.

The hostages were employees who were cleaning the pub at the time, the mayor of Ede, René Verhulst, said at a press conference following the hostage-taking.

The acting Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, sent the released hostages “a lot of strength to cope with this intense and drastic event.”

“Much respect and appreciation to the Police, emergency services and the Special Intervention Service for managing to bring the hostage situation in a bar in Ede to a successful conclusion,” Rutte said on X.

Dozens of armed police and firefighters were deployed to the scene.

The area around the Cafe Petticoat in the center of the town, which is home to around 111,000 people, has been evacuated, with about 150 homes affected, police said.

The area has also been cordoned off. EFE

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