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Suspect arrested after holding hostages for hours and threatening to ‘detonate bomb’ in Dutch nightclub

A suspected attacker who held four people hostage in a Dutch nightclub before allegedly threatening to detonate a bomb has been arrested, bringing a peaceful end to a tense eight-hour stand-off involving scores of armed police.

The incident, which took place in the central Dutch market town of Ede, 53 miles southeast of Amsterdam, ended around at noon 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 handcuffed before being led into a waiting police car.

A few hours earlier, three of the four people he had been holding hostage in the nightclub – which he had stormed while it was closing at around 4am – were let go, but one hostage had remained.

Heavily armed police and special arrest teams, some wearing masks, had gathered outside the club throughout the morning, along with negotiators. Some 150 nearby homes were also evacuated and trains were barred from stopping at the town’s station.

The fourth and final hostage was released shortly before the suspect was apprehended. All the hostages were employees of the nightclub.

Police and emergency services are deployed in the centre of Ede in the Netherlands (EPA)
Police and emergency services are deployed in the centre of Ede in the Netherlands (EPA)

“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.

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 hostage-taker was armed with knives, while a backpack he carried was being examined to establish if it contained explosives.

Ms Kunst told reporters the man was known to law enforcement authorities and that he had previously been convicted of threatening behaviour. She gave no further details, citing privacy and the ongoing investigation. Ede mayor Rene Verhulst said the suspect was a Dutch citizen.

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

The suspect charged into the nightclub after a party, called “Living Room Session 16+”, concluded at around 4am, according to a post on Facebook.