Angry cafe owner takes hostages in Dutch town hall
Frustrated at municipal authorities over his cafe licence, the man stormed into Almelo town hall and took five people hostage.18 June 2008
ALMELO - Dutch police on Monday ended a hostage situation in a town hall in the Netherlands with the arrest of the hostage- taker after negotiations over several hours.
The man had taken five people hostage in the Almelo town hall late Monday morning. All were unhurt.
Several dozen people had already been released during the course of the afternoon, according to Dutch media.
Police and prosecutors said the armed man gave himself up without a fight. The special police task force did not intervene.
Reports said the suspect was a 41-year-old Dutch cafe owner acting out of frustration at municipal authorities. The police did not comment on who the hostage-taker was or the reason for his actions.
The area around the town hall had been sealed off while police tried to make contact with the man.
Media reports said the man was a cafe owner who was in dispute with the municipal administration over his licence.
The building that housed his restaurant was also due to be demolished.
He is believed to have received "bad news" at the town hall during the morning.
Following the bad news, he is believed to have set fire to his cafe and then his car, which was parked in the town hall car park.
He then stormed into the town hall armed with a pistol, the reports said.
A high-ranking official in the town's administration was believed to be among the hostages.
Tubantia newspaper reported on its website that someone was injured when the cafe was burned, but nothing was known about the injured person.
The town of Almelo, located about 150 kilometres east of Amsterdam, has 70,000 residents.
[dpa / Expatica]
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