Netherlands: Nightclub hostage drama over after man seen kneeling and handcuffed

Netherlands: Nightclub hostage drama over after man seen kneeling and handcuffed

A hostage drama at a Dutch nightclub is over after a man was seen kneeling and handcuffed by police outside the venue.

Several people in the Netherlands had been taken hostage by a suspect, who was reportedly armed with weapons and explosives.

Two men, including one in a balaclava, were later seen leaving the building following the stand-off in the town of Ede. One was put in handcuffs by police.

Police officers detain a man outside the nightclub. Pic: Reuters

Dutch police officers detain a person near the Cafe Petticoat, where several people are being held hostage in Ede, Netherlands March 30, 2024. REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw
Pic: Reuters

“The last hostage has just been released. One person has been arrested,” a police statement said.

Three hostages, believed to be employees of the nightclub, were seen fleeing the building with their hands above their heads about an hour before the man was detained.

Earlier, heavily-armed officers cordoned off part of Ede and urged people to “stay away” from the area, adding: “Stay inside and don’t come and watch”.

Around 150 nearby homes were evacuated while authorities dealt with “a hostage situation involving several people,” police said on X.

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National newspaper de Telegraaf reported the hostage taker was armed with weapons and explosives, citing several anonymous sources.

The report said the man allegedly entered the nightclub at closing time and “threatened to blow the place up”.

There was no indication the hostage situation was terror related, according to police.

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Images from the rural market town in the eastern Netherlands, which is 53 miles (85km) from Amsterdam, showed police officers and firefighters on the streets in the cordoned-off area.

The municipality said all shops in the centre of Ede would remain closed.

Firefighters gather in Ede, Netherlands, Saturday, March 30, 2024. Heavily armed police have cordoned off part of a Dutch town and say that multiple people are being held hostage in a building there. It is unclear how many people are being held. Police said in a message on X, formerly Twitter, that the moment there is no indication of a terrorist motive.... (AP Photo/Aleksandar Furtula)
Firefighters in Ede. Pic: AP

Before the man was detained, the town’s mayor Rene Verhulst said in a statement: “Three hostages have just been released, but the situation is still ongoing. 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.”