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German police say “multiple” hostages held at Karlsruhe pharmacy

suspected members and supporters of a far right group were detained during raids, in berlin
File photo by Reuters

German police said “multiple” hostages were being held in an ongoing hostage situation at a pharmacy in the southwestern German city of Karlsruhe on Friday but that there was no danger to the broader public.

In a joint statement with prosecutors, police said the hostages had not been injured.

The 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.

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.

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