Swiss police rule out terror motive in train hostage drama

Swiss police rule out terror motive in train hostage drama
Swiss police rule out terror motive in train hostage drama

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - A police officer stands next to a train, where passengers travelling from Yverdon to Sainte-Croix were earlier held hostage, in Essert-Sous-Champvent, western Switzerland on February 8, 2024. — AFP pic

GENEVA, Feb 10 — An Iranian asylum-seeker who was shot dead after taking hostages on a Swiss train is not thought to have been inspired by terrorism, police said yesterday.

The 32-year-old man was shot dead by police on Thursday evening, four hours after he took 12 passengers and a train driver hostage on a train between Yverdon and Baulmes.

The man was armed with an axe, a knife and a hammer, but all of the hostages were freed unharmed after police stormed the train, police said.

“Nothing points us towards a terrorist act or a jihadist act,” police spokesperson Jean-Christophe Sauterel told Swiss press.

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Police said that according to preliminary findings, the man had been unhappy with his conditions as an asylum seeker.

After passengers on the train alerted police, officers negotiated with the suspect on WhatsApp with the help of a Farsi translator.

Officers had to intervene several times during the crisis because of the man’s behaviour before eventually deciding to send in about 60 police to storm the train, said a police statement.

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One officer tried to immobilise the man with a taser. When that did not stop him, a second officer opened fire, mortally wounding him as he was trying to reach the hostages, the police statement said.

In one video, filmed by a hostage and posted online by news website 24heures, the man spoke in limited English of his desire to get to England because he was not happy with his situation in Switzerland. — AFP

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