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15 Dec 2017

Military police shoot, wound knife-wielding man

Dutch military police on Friday shot and wounded a man armed with a knife, who burst into their office at Amsterdam’s busy Schiphol airport, police told AFP.
Policemen at the scene of the incident. AFP photo
“This afternoon a man came into the office of the Marechaussee (military police) here at Schiphol and threatened my colleagues with a knife,” said police spokesman Dennis Muller.

“He was shot in the leg and taken to hospital in Amsterdam.”

The incident triggered panic on the airport’s vast plaza, which is criss-crossed by thousands of people every day making their way to and from the departures and arrivals halls.

A worker at a fast food shop told AFP she saw a man “waving a knife around” before hearing a single shot.

“It was a scary thing to see him waving his knife around,” said the worker, who refused to be identified.

Schiphol airport is one of Europe’s top five busiest air hubs, handling a record 63.6 million passengers in 2016, up from 58 million in 2015.

Muller told AFP the military police did not know the man or anything about him.

“He seemed to be a confused person,” Muller said, adding “our investigators are on the scene to try and determine exactly what his motives were.”

The cavernous plaza, where trains arrive underground and where people can also stop to shop or eat in a large commercial area, was briefly evacuated.

But the airport tweeted later that the plaza was “reopened to the public again although a small part remained closed.

“Air traffic is experiencing no further consequences,” it added.

- AFP

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