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article imageDutch police open fire on man with knife at Schiphol airport

By AFP     Dec 15, 2017 in World

Dutch military police on Friday opened fire on a man armed with a knife at Amsterdam's busy Schiphol airport, they said.

"Man at Schiphol shot at by the military police, after he made threats with a knife. Situation safe," the military police said in a tweet.

A second tweet said the "suspect had been overpowered and arrested and taken away".

The airport's crowded, cavernous entrance plaza, where trains arrive underground and from where people make their way past shops and eateries to the arrivals and departures halls, was briefly evacuated, Tom Goemans, a spokesman for Schiphol, told AFP.

But the airport tweeted later that the plaza was "reopened to the public again. A small part is still closed down," it said.

"Air traffic is experiencing no further consequences."

Schiphol airport is one of Europe's top five busiest air hubs, handling a record 63.6 million passengers in 2016, up from 58 million in 2015.

Opened in 1916 as a military airport, Schiphol became the country's primary airport in 1949, lying just about nine kilometres (five miles) southwest of the Dutch capital, Amsterdam.

It serves as the second main hub for Air France-KLM, and also hosts many budget airlines such as Transavia and EasyJet.

The Netherlands has so far been spared from the slew of terror attacks which have rocked its closest European neighbours in past years.

But amid a number of scares in recent months, and reports that people linked to some of the attacks may have crossed briefly into the country, concerned top Dutch security and intelligence officials have been keeping a wary eye on events.

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