Dutch royals attacker dies from wounds | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 01.05.2009
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Dutch royals attacker dies from wounds

The man who tried to ram his car into the bus of the Dutch royals during a parade has died in hospital after killing six bystanders and leaving eight seriously injured.

Wrecked car after it crashed into a monument

The attacker's car came to a halt after crashing into a monument

The 38-year-old Dutchman, who deliberately raced his car towards an open bus carrying Queen Beatrix and her family at a parade on Thursday has died from his wounds, according to Dutch TV reports.

The driver broke through barriers with a small black car at high speed, hitting 17 people, killing four men and two women. A number of survivors, including two children, were left seriously injured.

He missed the royal bus by four or five metres before slamming at high speed into a stone monument in central Apeldoorn, southeast of the capital Amsterdam.

Motives unclear

Fire-fighters removed the attacker from the wreckage of the car. Police said the man had confessed to attempting to ram the open-top bus carrying the 71-year-old queen as well as Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and his wife Maxima.

Members of the royal family at the moment of the attack, including Beatrix, Maxima and Willem-Alexander

Members of the royal family were just meters away from the car's fatal path

"There are no indications of terrorist links," public prosecutor Ludo Goossens said, nor were there any signs of explosives or a broader conspiracy.

Investigators searched the man's house to try and establish a motive. They said he had no record of mental illness or previous crimes.

Queen cancels march-past

Queen Beatrix expressed her "deepest sympathy" for the dead and injured. She cancelled a ceremonial march-past scheduled in memory of her mother, Queen Juliana, who died five years ago.

Prime Minister Jan-Peter Balkenende said it was "a sad day for the Netherlands."