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Suspect arrested after hours-long hostage situation in Germany


Several people were taken hostage in a pharmacy in the city of Karlsruhe, according to the police

German authorities on Friday launched a large-scale operation in response to what they called a hostage crisis in the southwestern German city of Karlsruhe. A suspect took people hostage at a local pharmacy, demanding a ransom amounting to one million euros, German daily Stuttgarter Zeitung reported.

German police confirmed that law enforcement officers had been deployed to the area as several nearby streets were cordoned off. Evening events at two nearby concert venues have been canceled and those unable to return home due to the ongoing investigation have been directed to a local school, police added.

The police did not name the exact number of hostages and only said that “several people” had been taken hostage and that they were “safe and sound.” According to the media, at least two people were taken hostage.

Those in the pharmacy were held hostage for at least four hours, according to media reports. Photos from the scene published by German tabloid Bild show armored police vehicles as well as heavily armed police at the scene.

At around 9:10 p.m. local time, a special forces unit stormed the pharmacy and arrested a suspect before searching the building, police confirmed. All hostages were freed and no one was injured during the operation.

The incident took place just a day after a gunman killed seven people at a Jehovah’s Witness center in Hamburg, Germany. The shooter, who ultimately killed himself when pursued by police, was later identified as a disgruntled former Jehovah’s Witness, who had left the group on bad terms.

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