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Dutch hostage stand-off ends as suspect arrested

A hostage stand-off at a nightclub in the eastern Netherlands has ended peacefully after several hours with the arrest of a suspect - a man wearing a balaclava mask who exited the building and surrendered to police.

"The last hostage has just been released. One person has been arrested," a police statement said.

Several people, including employees, had been taken hostage at the Cafe Petticoat in the town of Ede early on Saturday morning.

"We are exceptionally happy that it ended this way. That the victims came out safely and that we were able to arrest this suspect without using violence," Marthyne Kunst, head of the regional public prosecutor's office, said.

Suspect surrounded by police
A suspect put his hands behind his head and got to his knees before being handcuffed by police. (EPA PHOTO)

The motive was unclear.

Officials said at a news briefing that the suspect, who was  previously known to police, had threatened the hostages with knives.

Kunst told reporters that the man was known to law enforcement authorities and had previously been convicted of threatening behaviour.

She gave no further details, citing privacy and the ongoing investigation.

The suspect's identity was not released.

Ede mayor René Verhulst said he was a Dutch citizen.

The suspect walked out of the club, put his hands behind his head and got to his knees before being handcuffed by police, a Reuters video journalist at the scene said.

Earlier, three young hostages left the cafe in Ede.

A fourth person was released shortly before the suspect was arrested.

Streets in the area had been evacuated and trains cancelled to the town, nearly 80km from Amsterdam.

with AP