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Germany: Hostage Crisis Ends After Police Raid

A man who allegedly took several people hostage in Germany has been arrested and his captives released following a police raid.

The country's leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel, was forced to cancel a rally in the same city following the hostage drama.

The alleged captor was hurt in the raid on the city hall building in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, and his two remaining captives - including a woman he had been stalking - were freed unharmed.

It was not immediately clear how the hostage-taker was injured.

Earlier in the day, the 24-year-old suspect had released two other people he had kidnapped at the building, police said. The pair were also not hurt.

More than 200 police officers surrounded city hall for nearly nine hours before the raid was carried out.

The suspect was a known stalker and had been banned from entering the building because he had harassed a female worker there, officials said.

He was a psychiatric patient who had carried either a real or imitation handgun and had entered city hall around 9am local time (8am BST), taking four people hostage.

He freed one female captive almost immediately, and about five hours later he released the town's deputy mayor, Sepp Misslbeck.

Throughout the afternoon, police and a psychiatrist kept negotiating with the man, whose only demand was a doner kebab.

Around 6pm local time (5pm BST) shots were heard and news came through that the drama has ended with the release of the last two hostages.

They were Mr Misslbeck's secretary, the woman believed to be the victim of his stalking, and the city government's complaints manager, according to the German media.

Town mayor Alfred Lehrmann said earlier: "It's a horrible situation. The staff were deeply dismayed and didn't know how to react... It's a very bad day for Ingolstadt."

Mr Lehmann said the man had a history of violent assault and intimidation.

Police arrested him in mid-2012 and he was placed in psychiatric care.

A trial that ended last month, with other unspecified charges, led to a suspended sentence of one year and eight months behind bars.

The man had already entered city hall earlier this month, which led to him being barred from the complex, said the Bavarian interior minister Joachim Herrmann.

The scenes on Monday unfolded just hours before Ms Merkel was due in the city, home to car manufacturer Audi, for a rally.

The city hall is home to the mayor's office, the tourist information office and a number of other administrative departments, and is one of two city halls in the Ingolstadt.