Two groups of gunmen--believed to be South Moluccan extremists--were holding more than sixty men, women, and children hostage in two separate sieges in Holland on Thursday (4 December).
GV Crowds around scene of train hi-jack (Beilen)
LV Hi-jacked train (2 shots)
CU Man with binoculars looking at train
GV Army helicopter leaving scene
SV Red Cross armoured personnel carrier along road
LV Armoured personnel carrier and rail signal point (3 shots)
LV Train with South Moluccan flag flying
GV Embassy in Amsterdam with South Moluccan flag flying
TGV PAN Scene as crowd looks on (3 shots)
SV Sharpshooter on balcony
SVs & GVs Armoured cars and tanks guarding embassy (2 shots)
Initials BB/0225 GB/BB/0300
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Background: Two groups of gunmen--believed to be South Moluccan extremists--were holding more than sixty men, women, and children hostage in two separate sieges in Holland on Thursday (4 December).
Both groups are believed to be using the sieges as platforms to press their claims for independence for the South Moluccan group -- the remote Pacific Islands currently controlled by Indonesia.
The first siege began on Tuesday (2 December) when six gunmen hi-jacked a train at Beilen in northern Holland. They shot dead two men -- including the driver -- and originally held 80 passengers hostage.
Since then many have escaped. However, on Thursday the gunmen shot another of their remaining 38 hostages, and warned that they were prepared to "fight, kill again and also to die".
The gunmen want a bus and an aeroplane to provide them with means of escape, but while negotiations continue, Dutch Premier Joop Den Uyl said his Government would show "no leniency" and would probably have to use force" to end the siege.
In Amsterdam, a group of gunmen seized the indonesian Consulate taking at least 25 people prisoner, and shooting a staff member through the stomach.
The hostages included 1O children, aged between 5 and 12. Five of the children were released on Thursday night ... badly shaken and trembling.
The gunmen are also bargaining for a 'plane to escape in and again Dutch Prime Minister Joop Den Uyl said the Government would probably be forced to use violence to end the siege.
Dutch military authorities have placed the country's entire 43rd armoured division around the hi-jacked train in Beilen. The troops and 45 armoured cars were positioned in a circle about two miles (3 kms) from the train.
Red Cross armoured personnel carriers were sent to the scene as authorities requested the carriers be allowed to approach the train to pick up the bodies of the dead and take the injured to hospitals. The request was turned down by the gunmen.
Rebel South Moluccan flags fly from both the hi-jacked express and the Indonesian Consulate.
Thousand of South Moluccans live in Hollands, where a secret army has been formed to prepare for the day when, they say, they will liberate their homeland from Indonesia.
The south Moluccan Islands became part of Indonesia when the Dutch granted independence to Indonesia in 1950.
SYNOPSIS: Beilen is the scene of one of two sieges currently being used to promote the South Moluccan cause in Holland. The Beilen siege started on Tuesday when six gunmen hi-jacked an express train. They immediately shot and killed two men...including the driver ... and originally held about eighty passengers hostage. Since then many of the passengers have escaped, but the gunmen still hold about thirty-eight people prisoner. And on Thursday they murdered another one of their. hostages, bringing the death toll to three. Despite numerous requests from Dutch authorities to allow Red Cross armoured personnel carriers to approach the train and pick up the bodies and the dead and the injured, the gunmen are standing firm and keeping everyone well back from their stronghold.
The Dutch Government is almost certain that the gunmen are South Moluccan extremist....pressing their claims for independence for their remote Pacific Islands from Indonesia. The terrorists are negotiating for a bus and an aircraft to be provided to give them an escape route. But the Government has refused to give in and the rebel South Moluccan flag still flies from the train.
That flag is also flying from the Indonesian Consulate in Amsterdam. A group of gunmen seized the consulate on Thursday...shooting a staff member through t he stomach as they rounded up at least twenty-five hostages...men, women, women and children.
The gunmen also want a 'plane provided and the release of all South Moluccan prisoners in Dutch jails.
However, the Dutch Government claims it will not show leniency in this case either. Dutch Prime Minister Joop Den Uyl believes force will now have to be used to end both sieges.