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Iranian armed with axe killed by police after seizing hostages on Swiss train

Nearly four hours after the incident began, police stormed the train.

Police officers watch the Travys train from which hostages were freed at Essert-sous-Champvent station in Switzerland (Laurent Gillieron/Keystone via AP)
Switzerland Train Hostages Police officers watch the Travys train from which hostages were freed at Essert-sous-Champvent station in Switzerland (Laurent Gillieron/Keystone via AP) (Laurent Gillieron/AP)

An Iranian asylum seeker was killed by police after he used an axe and a knife to seize more than a dozen hostages for several hours on a train in western Switzerland.

No passengers were injured.

Police in the French-speaking Vaud region said the 32-year-old man took the hostages early on Thursday evening and officers, alerted by passengers, sealed off the area while the train was stopped in the town of Essert-sous-Champvert.

The man, speaking Farsi and English, demanded that the train engineer join the 15 hostages.

Nearly four hours after the incident began, police stormed the train having tried to negotiate with the man through an interpreter. More than 60 police were involved.

“The hostages were all freed safe and sound,” a police statement said. “The hostage-taker was mortally injured during the operation.”

Vincent Derouand, a spokesperson for the Vaud prosecutors’ office, said an investigation was under way to determine the man’s motive.