Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Cologne train station closed down after suspected hostage-taking

Cologne train station hostage situation in Germany today - Live updates Hostage held at Cologne main train station
| 16 October, 2018, 18:30

Police quoted by the Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger daily said a couple were involved, and a man had argued with a woman in a McDonald's restaurant, before holding her in a pharmacy at the station.

Police Special forces are seen at the hostage-taking at the main railway station in Cologne, western Germany, on October 15, 2018.

The perpetrator then holed up in a pharmacy behind the station, taking a woman hostage.

The man received life-threatening wounds when special police commandos stormed the pharmacy.


Police have tweeted a link to an online platform for witnesses to upload images of Monday's incident in which a man lit a gasoline bomb at a restaurant inside the station that injured two people. DW's Dana Regev reported that two shots had been fired inside the station. An employee of the pharmacy and the hostage were also treated by medics. During their search, they discovered the identity documents for a 55-year-old Syrian migrant with a German residence visa valid until 2021.

Klaus-Stephan Becker, head of Cologne criminal police, also told news channel NTV that "it could be a foiled terrorist attack". "We have made contact with the attacker", he said, adding that police were trying to clarify "what does this man want, what are his demands, and is he armed?" "We're doing everything to get the hostage out of there unharmed", police spokesman Christoph Gilles said initially. Police said a 14-year-old girl was injured in the fast-food restaurant earlier. It wasn't clear how the injuries were sustained. The entire station, one of the biggest in the country, was evacuated and closed off as well as Breslauer Platz square behind the station.

German railroad operator Deutsche Bahn said that all train traffic was shut down.

The bloodiest claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group was a truck rampage through a Berlin Christmas market in December 2016 that left 12 people dead.

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