Armed Hostage Situation on Swiss Train

Overnight in Switzerland, a tense hostage situation unfolded on a train in Essert-sous-Champvent, near the French border, when a man armed with an axe and a knife held 15 people captive. The ordeal, lasting nearly four hours, ended when police stormed the train late Thursday, resulting in the assailant’s fatal injury. The incident took place on the train route between Baulmes and Yverdon-les-Bains in the Vaud canton.

Authorities confirmed the hostages’ safe release, with the perpetrator identified as a 32-year-old Iranian asylum seeker. The motive remains unclear, and there’s no evidence suggesting a terrorist link, according to Jean-Christophe Sauterel, Vaud canton police spokesperson. Prosecutor General Eric Kaltenrieder described the event as unprecedented in its scale. Switzerland, typically unfamiliar with such hostage scenarios, did witness a similar incident in January 2022 at a watchmaking firm. Hostage situations, though rare in the country, have previously targeted banks and businesses.