Middle East Refugees Threaten to Burn Police, Interpreteters
AALBORG, Denmark (AP) _ A group of Lebanese and Palestinian asylum seekers took two policemen and three interpreters hostage Tuesday on a small island in northern Denmark, police said.
By early Wednesday, 20 police officers armed with rifles had surrounded the the house on the island of Livoe where the refugees were living pending processing of their applications for political asylum in Denmark, Aalborg police duty officer Finn Iversen said.
He said police believed that there were five hostage-takers and that they previously had been told their applications for asylum would be rejected.
He said 20 more officers were en route to the island to join the siege of the barricaded house after knife-wielding refugees shouted through the windows that they ″might as well burn in Denmark as face death″ in their homeland.
Iversen said police on the island reported that the asylum seekers had dragged containers of bottled gas into the house and threatened to use them as incendeniary bombs.
The two policemen taken hostages had come to the island to question about 50 asylum seekers and report to a special immigation board that makes the decisions on applications for asylum.