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Updated February 9th, 2024 at 09:48 IST

Swiss Train Horror: Axe-Wielding Asylum Seeker Holds 15 Hostages, Gets Killed in Shootout

Negotiations with the hostage-taker occurred partially through WhatsApp, facilitated by a translator fluent in Farsi, reports stated.

Digital Desk
Swiss train horror
Representative | Image:Freepik
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New Delhi: An unexpected tension unfolded on Thursday night at the Essert-Sous-Champvent village in western Switzerland when a as a 32-year-old Iranian asylum seeker commandeered a train, turning it into a hostage situation that lasted nearly four hours. The ordeal, which started around 6:35 PM and ended at 10:30 PM local time, involved 15 hostages, including 14 passengers and the train conductor. 

Reportedly, the hostage-taker, armed with an axe and a knife, spoke Farsi and English, according to Vaud canton police spokesman Jean-Christophe Sauterel. The motives behind the incident were initially unknown as investigations were underway to confirm the suspect's identity.

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Negotiations with the hostage-taker occurred partially through WhatsApp, facilitated by a translator fluent in Farsi, reports stated. The suspect, who had forced the conductor to join the passengers, was ultimately shot dead by a police officer when he allegedly rushed at them with the axe.

Authorities decided to storm the train, executing a manoeuvre to keep the suspect away from the hostages. The incident was a rare occurrence in Switzerland, where hostage situations are infrequent but not unheard of.

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In another incident, in January 2022, criminals reportedly attempted to access vaults holding precious metals by taking a couple and two employees hostage, though they fled without the loot. In November 2021, assailants reportedly took the director of a watch company and his family hostage, stealing gold before escaping to neighboring France. The recent train hostage situation underscores the unpredictability of such incidents even in typically peaceful regions.

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Published February 9th, 2024 at 09:48 IST

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