3 Released After Several People Taken Hostage In Netherlands Cafe

It is not known how many people were initially being held

The Hague, Netherlands:

Three of the hostages being held in a cafe in central Netherlands Saturday have been released, police said, but did not yet sound the all-clear.

Authorities have evacuated the centre of the town of Ede since early morning, after several people were held at the Cafe Petticoat.

“Three hostages have just been released. The situation is not over yet,” police said in a statement on X, formerly Twitter.

Images on public broadcaster NOS showed three young people leaving the building with their hands in the air.

Police have said there was currently no reason to suspect a “terrorist motive”.

“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.

It is not known how many people were initially held but local media have reported around four or five people are involved.

It is also not clear whether there were hostages still in the cafe, which is popular with young people and hosted a party until the early hours of Saturday.

Several local media reported that a “confused” man burst into the cafe and made threats.

Police cleared a cordon around the cafe, with residents of around 150 houses being brought to safety.

The local municipality said on its website that the town centre had been closed off and that riot police and explosives experts were at the scene.

Authorities called on residents to avoid the town centre and train traffic was being diverted.

“We see there are many questions about the motive. At this time there is no indication of a terrorist motive,” police said.

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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