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Drug Addict Arrested After Siege; Hostage Freed For Heroin

July 14, 1989

HEERLEN, Netherlands (AP) _ Police captured a drug addict and ended a nearly 20-hour siege in which the man shot and wounded a police officer and exchanged his hostage for heroin, authorities said today.

Police late Thursday night moved in on the man, a 30-year-old West German, shortly after he released the hostage, a 52-year-old woman, said Herman Naberhuis, a police spokesman in this southern town. No one was injured during the operation in which concussion grenades were fired into the house.

In exchange for the woman’s freedom, police twice sent him a small supply of heroin and allowed his West German girlfriend to join him.

The man was identified only as Uwe B., in line with Dutch police practice.

Naberhuis said that during negotiations with the suspect, it was determined that he was also responsible for the July 6 shooting death of 36- year-old Horst Wendland, a West German taxi driver found in his taxi on a remote industrial site frequented by heroin addicts.

Wendland, a resident of the Dutch village of Posterholt, was a cross-border commuter who drove for a West German taxi company, Naberhuis said. The motive for the killing was not known.

Thursday’s hostage situation began at 2:30 a.m. when the man broke into a house known to police for its connections with heroin trafficking. A woman living there alerted police, and the man fled into another nearby house where he seized his hostage.

When police arrived, the suspect fired six times, wounding one officer.

A 70-member police team, including sharpshooters and a specially trained arrest unit, surrounded the house and ended the standoff shortly after 10 p.m.

Heerlen, located only a few miles from the West German border, is a major center of heroin trafficking and abuse by Dutch and West German addicts.

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