Incident Summary:

02/19/1999: The Swiss Radical-Democratic Party (PRD) in central Berne, Switzerland, was stormed by some 30 to 40 Kurdish men from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), armed with jerry cans. Two hostages were taken and eventually released unharmed. Twelve Kurds were subsequently arrested, but reports did not indicate whether they were charged with any crime.




Western Europe

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Armed Assault
Type of Attack (more) Hostage Taking (Barricade Incident)
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Government (General)
Name of Entity Swiss Radical-Democratic Party (PRD)
Specific Description Swiss Radical-Democratic Party (PRD) in central Berne, Switzerland
Nationality of Target Switzerland
Additional Information
Hostages Yes
Number of Hostages 2
US Hostages 0
Outcome Hostage(s) released by perpetrators
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Minor (likely < $1 million)
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Incendiary Arson/Fire
Weapon Details
The protestors used Jerry cans.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information Following the capture of Abdullah Öcalan, who was the leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), many such similar incidents of break-in and hostage-taking were perpetrated by angry Kurds, targeting diplomatic missions and UN organizations.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 30
Number of Captured Perpetrators 12
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Kurds Storm Berne PRD Headquarters, Take Two Hostages,” Agence France Presse, February 19, 1999.