Swiss police kill axe-wielding hostage taker on train


Swiss authorities said a man armed with an axe and a knife held 15 hostages on a train for almost four hours, until police stormed the train and fatally wounded him late on Thursday.

The incident occurred in the town of Essert-sous-Champvent on the train line connecting Baulmes and Yverdon-les-Bains in the Swiss canton of Vaud near the French border.

"The hostages were all released unharmed," police in the Vaud canton said in a statement on Friday. "The hostage taker was fatally wounded during the intervention."

Police did not provide any details regarding the possible motives of the man, who police said was a 32-year-old asylum seeker.

Jean-Christophe Sauterel, police spokesperson for the Vaud canton, said there was no indication that the hostage-taking was a terrorist incident.

"It's an unprecedented event given the number of victims, 15 hostages, and the intervention of 60 police," Prosecutor General Eric Kaltenrieder told local television.

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