ALERT: Hostage operation in #Cologne
German police asked to avoid the area of the central railroad station in the city of #Cologne, Germany. At present there is a perimeter in the surrounding streets, and the passengers are evacuated. Witnesses report hearing some shots. Police also call for following their advice transmitted via different media, including Twitter.
German media is moving closer to the spot to report from proximity of the Central Station. However at present the pieces of information are contradictory.
AMENDED: According to German sources a person/persons (?) has been taken hostage at a drug store in the building of the station. There is massive police presence, reported by locals.
AMENDED: Special crisis negotiation team arrived to the spot of ongoing hostage operation.
AMENDED: Media reports there is one woman taken hostage in the pharmacy in the Station building. Specialized police team has began the negotiations over her liberation.
AMENDED: Police operation is over according to DW reporter. The attacker shot and taken to hospital, the hostage is assisted at spot.
22:30 AMENDED: Terrorist motives are not ruled out by the authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia after security forces shot and subdued a 55-year-old Syrian man who threw a Molotov cocktail at a McDonald’s and took a woman hostage. The local police said the assailant had claimed allegiance to the Islamic State, or ISIS.
The perpetrator, who is in intensive underwent surgery, has been captured at the central train station in Cologne after failed negotiations, they added. A special forces unit threw stun grenades at him when the order was given and the hostage was slightly injured, alongside two other people, according to the official report. The final act took place at a pharmacy next to the restaurant inside the building. The attacker held a pistol, the police said, but failed to ascertain whether it was real or a replica.
Officials revealed they found a passport issued to him that contained a residency permit. The suspect had prior offenses, namely theft and the possession of narcotics, they claimed and said he demanded the release of a “Tunisian woman.”