A hostage situation on a train in western Switzerland on Thursday night ended with the suspect killed in a police raid and the hostages released safely, authorities said.
The kidnapper was armed with an ax and a knife and spoke Farsi and English, Vaud canton police spokesman Jean-Christophe Sauterel said at a news conference.
“At this stage of the investigation, the perpetrator’s motives are unknown,” he said.
The identity of the kidnapper, he added, has not yet been officially confirmed and checks are being carried out.
The man was shot dead by a police officer after allegedly lunging at him with the axe.
A total of 15 hostages were taken (14 passengers and the driver) and the ordeal lasted for almost four hours, between 6:35 pm and 10:30 pm (1735 GMT to 2130 GMT).
The suspect forced the train driver, who was stopped near Yverdon, to join the passengers, who alerted police to the situation.
Negotiations with the suspect were conducted partly through WhatsApp and with the help of a translator who spoke Farsi, the predominant language in Iran.
The authorities finally decided to assault the train and executed a maneuver to keep the man away from the hostages, according to Sauterel.
Hostage situations are rare in Switzerland, but do occur occasionally.
In January 2022, criminals took a couple and two employees of a company hostage in an attempt to access the vaults where precious metals were kept, but ultimately fled without the loot.
And in November 2021, the director of a watch company and members of his family were taken hostage in their home, and assailants stole gold and fled to neighboring France.
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