South Moluccan extremists waving machine guns have taken hostage more than 100 children in Dutch village school and hijacked an express train, plunging Holland into a siege drama for the second time in 18 months.
AERIAL VIEW OF: hijacked train in open country.
LV ZOOM INTO: hijacked train.
SV PAN ALONG: train
SV: Bovensmilde primary school PAN TO police vehicle and onlookers.
GV PULL BACK TO LV people standing outside school. (2 shots)
GRAVES:"This was obviously no spur-of-the-moment protest, but a carefully planned and executed operation. The commuter train was stopped at a spot in open country offering little cover to the security forces who've now sealed off the area. Even now 12 hours after that incident, details are few. But it appears there are at least 10 hijackers on the train, for when it came to a halt, the six already on board were joined by others waiting by the side of the track. From the train since then there has been only sporadic shooting, apparently as a warning to anyone foolhardy enough to move within range. Its been a hot day, the 50 passengers are crowded into the front coach, there is no water or food. None has been asked for. Indeed, there's been no communication whatsoever with those still on board.
At Bovensmilde primary school, conditions for the 105 children and their teachers are slightly better. Though here again, warning shots have been fired. The gunmen have appeared briefly to allow food packs in to the children who are aged between 8 and 10. 15 South Moluccan children at the school have been released, and the authorities say they believe that none of the children left have been hurt. The school stands at the edge of a 2,000 strong South Moluccan community, and with feelings in the town running high, armed guards have been placed around this area.".
REPORTER: KEITH GRAVES
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: South Moluccan extremists waving machine guns have taken hostage more than 100 children in Dutch village school and hijacked an express train, plunging Holland into a siege drama for the second time in 18 months. Police believe that 105 children, with six teachers, are being held at gunpoint in Bovensmilde village primary school by one group of Moluccans. Another group is holding about 50 people in the inter-city express train about 20 kilometres(12 miles) away. The gunmen are extremists among the some 40,000 South Moluccan exiles in Holland who seek independence for their Pacific homeland from Indonesian rule. Keith Graves of the British Broadcasting Corporation describes the scene.
In a nearly-identical drama in December, 1975 -- when a train and an Indonesian consulate were siezed -- the Moluccans sought help form the Dutch, their former colonial rulers, for their cause. So far, the gunmen have not made any demands.