Dutch nightclub hostage drama ends after suspect is arrested and blindfolded


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

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

Following the hours-long stand-off, a man in a balaclava walked out of the Cafe Petticoat with his hands in the air before being ordered by armed police to kneel.

He was then handcuffed and led into a waiting police car.

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
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

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.

A fourth person was released shortly before the arrest.

In a news conference after the stand-off concluded, authorities confirmed a man had been arrested and was being questioned, adding he was a Dutch citizen and known to the police.

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They also said the hostages were safe but “very emotional”.

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”.

Several people are being held hostage in a cafe in the Netherlands, according to local media reports.
Pic: AP

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

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 ...at 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.”

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