Dutch police: Unidentified man takes hostages in Almelo city hall

A local cafe owner seized several hostages Monday in the town hall of Almelo near the German border, police and witnesses said. Dutch media reported that the man, armed with a pistol, was holding at least four hostages, including a town councilman. Police declined to disclose details as the hostage situation was unfolding. Spokeswoman Elly Sjauw had said earlier that officers were trying to make contact with the man, and were unsure how many hostages were being held. Armed police, ambulances and firefighters were on standby on the perimeter of the sealed area in Almelo, a town of about 70,000 people 160 kilometers east of Amsterdam. The media reports said the cafe owner was involved in a long-standing legal fight with the city.