German police storm pharmacy and arrest man after hostage situation in Karlsruhe
German police arrested a man on Friday evening after a special unit stormed a pharmacy in Karlsruhe where multiple people had been held hostage for hours.
Multiple explosions were heard as officers sought to end the hostage situation in the west German city of Karlsruhe.
Police earlier said “multiple” hostages were being held but that there was no danger to the broader public.
German tabloid Bild reported that the incident began at 4.30pm and that police had made contact with the hostage-taker. ï¸
The area surrounding the pharmacy was extensively cordoned off.
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.
A police spokesperson declined to comment on the report.
Police had advised residents to avoid the area, with those unable to access their homes being advised they can take refuge in a nearby school.
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.
The hostage situation followed Thursday's deadly rampage at a Jehovah's Witnesses hall in Hamburg.
An unborn baby was among seven people killed in the shooting, with police revealing that the gunman was a 35-year-old German with a firearms licence.
The man - named only as Philipp F, in line with German privacy rules - carried out the shooting on Thursday evening before taking his own life himself after police arrived, said authorities.