Four abducted girls rescued from knife-wielding man

12th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

12 April 2005, ESSEN - Police overpowered an Iranian refugee armed with two knives in Germany on Tuesday, five hours after he had abducted a quartet of schoolgirls off a public bus and invaded a private home. Schoolchildren who had been on the bus when the incident began said the hostage-taker had spoken of his resentment towards German authorities and wanted his family to be allowed into Germany. Police in the town of Ennepetal, 20 kilometres southwest of Essen on Germany's industrialized western fringe,

12 April 2005

ESSEN - Police overpowered an Iranian refugee armed with two knives in Germany on Tuesday, five hours after he had abducted a quartet of schoolgirls off a public bus and invaded a private home.

Schoolchildren who had been on the bus when the incident began said the hostage-taker had spoken of his resentment towards German authorities and wanted his family to be allowed into Germany.

Police in the town of Ennepetal, 20 kilometres southwest of Essen on Germany's industrialized western fringe, said one girl suffered a minor cut from one of the knives, but the children were otherwise unharmed.

The suspect, 50, had received psychiatric treatment some years back in Germany and was recently refused political asylum. He had been living in an Ennepetal refugee hostel.

The homebound children were shocked when the man pulled a knife and forced the driver and 10 children to alight. While six children escaped, four of them aged 11 to 16 were bound by the wrists and forced into a randomly chosen nearby house.

The suspect pushed away the woman homeowner, who was just entering the front door of a property on a quiet, no-exit, garden-lined street of family homes. She ran away and was unhurt.

Police said the emergency could have been much worse: by chance the man had picked a house where there were loaded guns in a cupboard, but he had not found them.

Maren, aged 14, one of the girls who escaped earlier, said, "He had two knives, both with blades about 20 centimetres long.

"He was saying to us, 'You're my hostages because I've got a dispute with the German government'."

Girls who had been on the bus said the man had been calm and appeared to be executing a plan. He had had rope in his pocket to tie the wrists of the hostages.

Police said a Farsi-language note left in the bus demanded admission to Germany for the man's family.

DPA

Subject: German news

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