An Iranian asylum seeker was shot dead by police as he charged at an officer while wielding an axe, the culmination of a four-hour hostage-taking aboard a Swiss regional train service.
Nearly 100 members of the emergency services responded to a hostage-taking aboard a local train service stopped Essert-sous-Champvent train station after passengers managed to contact police to alert them of the situation. A “screaming” 32-year-old Iranian asylum seeker armed with an axe and a knife had tied up at least some of the 14 passengers and the driver of the Sainte-Croix to Yverdon train, leading to a four-hour hostage situation, reports Switzerland’s 20 Minutes.
Police were eventually able to speak to the man through Whatsapp installed on the cell phones of hostage passengers, but had to use an interpreter as the attacker only spoke Farsi and English. Eventually, the Iranian hostage taker stood away from his captives for a moment, giving police a window for action. Explosives were set off to dazle the man, and officers stormed the carriage while police snipers stood by.
Member of the forensic police officers inspect the inside of a train, where passengers travelling from Yverdon to Sainte-Croix were earlier held hostage, in Essert-Sous-Champvent, western Switzerland on February 9, 2024. A hostage situation on a train in the west of Switzerland ended with the suspect killed in a police raid and the hostages safely freed, authorities said. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
Police block a road leading to a train station in Essert-Sous-Champvent, western Switzerland, on February 8, 2024. A hostage situation on a train in the west of Switzerland ended with the suspect killed in a police raid and the hostages safely freed, authorities said. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
No hostages or police officers were injured in the operation, it is stated, but the Iranian hostage-taker charged a police officer while wielding his axe and was shot dead for his troubles.
While Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung reports police have said “according to initial investigations, the perpetrator’s motive is still unclear”, nevertheless officers are apparently confident enough to already declare the hostage-taking is “neither terrorist nor jihadist”.
One witness who spoke to 20 Minutes described the attack, and emphasised how familiar it felt to regular life. Indeed, Swiss media has responded to footage filmed from inside the hostage-taking, where the members of the public captured conversed with the attacker calmly. The witness said: “When I saw the man and heard him screaming, I initially thought he was drunk or on drugs. You see people like that all the time on the train. But they are harmless.”
Police Insist Knife Attack Specifically Targeting French People Wasn’t Terrorismhttps://t.co/vkUBQplg0A
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 7, 2024