Hostage held in Cologne station incident: German police

The suspect sustained life-threatening injuries.

German magazine Focus had earlier reported that several shots appeared to have been fired at Cologne's main train station, which is next to the city's landmark cathedral.

He had first hurled a Molotov cocktail inside a McDonald's restaurant, injuring a teenage girl, then taken another woman hostage in an adjacent pharmacy.

There had been reports of shots fired, although police later said this was not the case.

Police said they could not yet positively identify the hostage-taker, who was undergoing surgery, but believed he was a 55-year-old Syrian immigrant.

"We also do not rule out a terrorist attack", Brauns said.

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The square behind the station was closed. "We're doing everything to get the hostage out of there unharmed", police spokesman Christoph Gilles said initially.

One of Germany's largest train stations was evacuated and locked down Monday after a man took a woman hostage inside a pharmacy at the transportation hub, police said.

Police have cordoned off the entire area while Deutsche Bahn, Germany's largest railway company, has partially suspended trains passing by the Cologne station. Ambulances and heavily-armed police were lined up and waiting behind the train station.

Police negotiated with him in a bid to defuse the tense situation and ascertain his motive, then stormed the pharmacy around 3:00 pm (1300 GMT).

"The suspect is taken under control", Cologne police tweeted on Monday, but added the operation was still ongoing by the time the message was released. Police would not speculate on whether the hostage situation was terror-related.

  • Sonia Alvarado