View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Bloodbath in Holland

A 25-year old man, Tristan van der Vlis, has caused a bloodbath at a shopping centre in the town of Alphen-aan-den-Rijn in western Holland yesterday. He walked into the mall just after midday and opened fire with an automatic weapon. Having killed six people, he turned the gun on himself. In a suicide note, the culprit had said that he had left bombs in the mall and elsewhere in Alphen, but that turned out to be a hoax. had faced police enquiries about weapons 8 years ago, but had not been convicted of any crime.

As much a hoax was the tweet from a youngster who had threatened to emulate Alphen in the town of Hoogvliet, west of Rotterdam. The teenager has been arrested by police and is being interrogated.

Mass shootings like this are virtually unheard of in Holland, where gun possession is strictly regulated, and automatic weapons banned.