Four hostages released from a Dutch nightclub; man arrested

Netherlands: A hostage drama at a nightclub in the eastern Netherlands ended peacefully after several hours on Saturday with the arrest of a suspect.

Four people had been held hostage for hours, police said.

“We are exceptionally happy that it ended this way. That the victims came out safely and that we were able to arrest this suspect without using violence,” said Marthyne Kunst, head of the regional public prosecutor’s office.

The man surrendered to police after a tense hours-long standoff in the central Dutch town of Ede, Netherlands.

The man surrendered to police after a tense hours-long standoff in the central Dutch town of Ede, Netherlands.Credit:

There was no immediate word on a motive, but police and prosecutors said they did not believe it was a terrorist incident. Police said the masked man was armed with knives, and a backpack he carried was being examined to establish if it contained explosives.

The hostage-taking in the central Dutch market town of Ede, 85 kilometres southeast of Amsterdam, ended around midday when a man walked out of the Cafe Petticoat club and was ordered by armed police to kneel with his hands on his head. He was then handcuffed before being led into a waiting police car.

Kunst told reporters that the man was known to law enforcement authorities and had previously been convicted of threatening behaviour. She gave no further details, citing privacy and the ongoing investigation.

The suspect’s identity was not released. Ede Mayor René Verhulst said he was a Dutch citizen.

Authorities also released no details about the four hostages.

Verhulst said that after an emotionally charged morning, “everything is fine. The hostage-taker is arrested by the police and they are now speaking to him. And the hostages are free, they are very emotional.”

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