South Moluccan terrorists who have held some 55 hostages aboard a commuter train for two weeks released two prengnant women yesterday. Washington Post correspondent Michael Getler reported.
The women's release came "spontaneously" without a government request, according to Justice Ministry spokeswoman Toos Faber. Dutch authorities earlier had urged the gunmen to free Nelleke Ellenbroek-Prinsen, 25, who is five months pregnant and reportedly has thyroid and high blood pressure problems, because they feared for her death.
She and other captive released, A. H. Brouwerkorf, 31, were rushed to a hospital in nearby Groningen, where a hospital spokesman said they "are looking very well, both physiclly and psychologically."
The women are the first hostages freed from the train since 8-to-10 gunmen seized it on May 23 and let 34 Moluccan and elderly passengers leave. A week ago, more than 100 children seized by a second group of South Moluccans were freed from a school near here where four teachers are still being held.
In the Hague, Justice Minister Andries van Agt said he was "extremely happy" over the women's release ,but did not see "any reason to be optimistic" that the twin sieges would soon end.
Two well-known members of the South Moluccan community here conferred with the terrorists aboard the train for six hours Saturday, as potential mediators betwen the government and the gunmen. The terrorists want The Netherlands to force Indonesia to grant independence to their island homeland.