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Police storm German pharmacy holding hostages

German police have stormed the pharmacy where “multiple” hostages were being held in an ongoing situation in the southwestern German city of Karlsruhe but that there was no danger to the broader public.

In a joint statement with prosecutors, police said the hostages had not been wounded and one person, a suspect, was arrested.

Friday’s incident follows Thursday’s deadly rampage at a Jehovah’s Witnesses hall in Hamburg, putting the country on edge. Gun violence is rare in Germany.

A large number of officers had been deployed to the site starting from around 4:30 pm [local time], a police spokesperson said, but he declined to disclose for tactical reasons how many hostages were taken or how many police were on the ground.

Police had cordoned off Karlsruhe city centre where multiple blue and grey police vehicles with flashing lights lined the streets.

Earlier police had urged residents to avoid the surrounding area.

Hamburg church shooter believed dead as German police probe motive

Demand for ransom reported

The Stuttgarter Zeitung reported that two people had been taken hostage and that there was a demand for a ransom of a single-digit million euro sum.

The police spokesperson declined to comment on the report.

Earlier Germany’s Bild newspaper had reported that the police were in contact with the alleged hostage-taker.

Karlsruhe, not far from the French border, is a city of some 300,000 people and home to the Federal Court of Justice, Germany’s highest court.

Several dead in shooting in German city of Hamburg

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