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Kurds Take Dutch Students Hostage

January 28, 2000

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) _ A group of Kurds stormed a German language institute, held 30 students hostage for two hours and then surrendered peacefully, Dutch police said today.

Seventeen Kurds were arrested in the port city of Rotterdam after the hostage-taking Thursday night, police spokesman Hans Stoop said. There were no injuries, he said.

The Kurds entered the Rotterdam’s Goethe Institute, interrupting a German class, to protest of the detention of a fellow Kurd in Germany. Ilhan Yelkovan, convicted of murder last year and sentenced to life imprisonment, has been on a hunger strike in a German prison since Nov. 30.

Several hundred Kurds were arrested in the Netherlands last year as protesters across Europe took hostages to protest the arrest of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan.

Turkey has postponed Ocalan’s death sentence pending a review by the European Court of Human Rights.

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