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May 26, 1977 - Image 2

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Michigan Daily, 1977-05-26

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Thursday, May 26, 1977

Dutch, Mo Luc s ne ursda2
Duth,1olucans negotiate

ASSEN, The Netherlands (AP)
- As captive children chanted
"we want to stay alive," Dutch
government officials negotiated
with South Moluccan extremists
at a besieged school and hijack-
ed train yesterday for the lives
of more than 160 hostages.
"The situation is still touch
and go," a Justice Ministry of-
ficial said of the telephone ne-
gotiations, conducted with two
government psychiatrists as in-
termediaries.
"HOWEVER, until this morn-
ing they did nothing but issue
deadly threats, and now the one-
way conversation has been
changed into a two-way conver-
sation.",
The gunmen want inde-
pendence for their Pacific is-
land homeland from Indonesia, a
former Dutch colony. They had
threatened to start shooting hos-
tages if the government did not
agree by 2 p.m. local time; 8
a.m. EDT yesterday to free
countrymen jailed after a simi-
lar terrorist action two years
ago and fly them all out of the
country.

TILE DEADLINE passed with-
out incident.
Two hours before the deadline,
several captive children were
herded in front of classroom
windows and chanted, "We want
to stay alive, Van Agtl" It was
an appeal to the chief govern-
ment strategist dealing with the
hostage situation, Justice Min-
ister Andries van Agt.
Six of the Asian militants were
holding 105 children, aged 6 to
12, and six teachers hostage at
the village school in Bovens-
milde, just outside this north-
ern Dutch city. Another group
of seven terrorists, reportedly
including one woman, was hold-
ing at least 55 persons aboard
a commandeered intercity train
sitting in open pastures about 1
mile north of here.
THEY SEIZED the school and
train in simultaneous strikes
Monday morning.
More than 400 persons crowd-
ed into a church in Bovensmilde
for a prayer service yesterday.
A clergyman asked the congre-
gation to pray not only for the
hostages but "also for those
who hold our children, so they

may see the terrible things they
are doing to innocent people."
Queen Juliana and Prince Bern-
hard sent a telegram to the
families of the children saying
"Our heart is'with you in these
terrible days."
INSIDE THE TRAIN, some
hostages - most of them stu-
dents in their late teens and
early 20's - were reported suf-
fering from heat exhaustion,
Daytime temperatures outside
the train climbed into the low
80's.
"It must be murder inside
that sweat box," said one police-
man staring at the train. "Temp-
eratures must be frightful in
those cars,"
BUT GOVERNMENT officials
told the terrorists they would
not discuss any deals until the
children were freed.
Fourteen of jailed South Mol-
uccans are serving terms for
a similar double terrorist strike
in 1975, when they demanded
that the Dutch government help
them win independence from In-
donesia for their homeland. The
seven others were convicted of
plotting to kidnap Queen Juli-

ana.
The South Moluccas, a cluster
of islands 600 miles south of the
Philippines, was once part of
the Dutch East Indies colony,
along with the rest of Indonesia.
The Dutch have said repeated-
ly they cannot help the South
Moluccans.
Despite the siege of terror
here, there was a heavy turn-
out at the polls in Bovensmilde
and elsewhere Wednesday as
Dutch voters elected a new par-
liament for the first time since
1972. "It's no different from any
other election day," said an
election official in Bovensmilde.
Four of the prisoners whose
freedom the terrorists demand-
ed were brought to the govern-
ment "crisis center" here, offi-
cials said, "We're keeping them
on ice,". said one official.
THE TELEPHONE talks were
initiated by terrorist leaders on
the hijacked train, officials said.
The two groups of gunmen were
linked to each other by a special
telephone hookup that authori-
ties pledged would not ,be moni-
tored.
After the deadline passed and

AnnouninrgUnied'
DC-lO NlqhtCoach
to arrfomnia..
Sleep and save.

as negotiations continued, Prime
Minister Joop den Uyl told re-
-porters in the capital of The
Hague, "It looks as if there is
a certain basis- for conversation
developing.
"How this is going to end can-
not be predicted," he said. "But
in the course of the morning,
there has been rather intensive
contact with the Moluccans both
in the train and in the school."
AIR MATRESSES were deliv-
ered to the school for the chil-
dren. The terrorists had asked
for cots' but were turned down
by authorities who feared the
folding beds might be used to
barricade the classroom where
the hostages were being held.
The children have also been
given batches of toys, as well
as food. Medication was sent in
for three children known to be
ill.
At the train, the terrorists
inexplicably refused an early de-
livery of food brought to them
by two policeofficers on a rail
handcar yesterday.
Combat police and army
troops, along with specially
trained antiterrorist units, ring-
ed both locations. Antiterrorist
experts from Britain flew in to
advise the Dutch. But tension
eased noticeably at Bovesmilde
as the deadline passed - police
officers who earlier seemed
jumpy simply sat down in the
shade and relaxed.
At about noon, a group of
South Moluccans from Bovens-
milde, where 300 of the immi-
grants live, walked to the school
and appealed to the gunmen
through a megaphone not to
harm the children. A South Mol-
uccan group later held a pray-
er service in front of the school.
Some of the terrorists were
believed to be residents of the
Assen-Bovensmilde area.
Interesting facts
Florence Nightingale, the
Englishwoman who is known as
the founder of modern nursing,
was named after the Italian
city of Florence, where she was
born.
In New York City it is pos-
sible for a subway rider to
travel nearly 90 miles without
retracing his route, says Na-
tional Geographic. All it costs
is one 50-cent, fare.
Join The Daily
TE MICHIGAN DAILY
Volume LXXXVII, No. 17-
Thursday, May 26, 1977
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