German police say hostage suspect lit explosive, had record

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German police said Monday they ended a hostage-taking in a pharmacy in Cologne's main train station, gravely wounding the alleged perpetrator after he himself injured two people.

Police said they found a passport issued to a 55-year-old Syrian man at the scene, and that the suspect had claimed to be a member of the Islamic State militant group.

He said parts of the station, one of the biggest in the country, were closed off as well as Breslauer Platz square behind the station.

The hostage take-, who was severely injured in the police operation, was taken to an intensive care unit in a local hospital.

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Gilles said specially-trained officers were talking to the hostage taker, who hadn't been identified.

German railroad operator Deutsche Bahn said that all train traffic was shut down.

Police on Twitter told people to avoid the station. Police spokesman Christoph Gilles said they were working to find out "what the hostage-taker wants, what his demands are and whether he carries a weapon", adding that police were not aware of the man's motive.

Cologne police say they have closed parts of the western German city's main train station because of a hostage situation.

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Police confirmed that they do not rule out that the assailant might have had terrorist motives.

Ambulances and heavily-armed police were lined up in wait behind the train station. An employee of the pharmacy and the hostage were also treated by medics. "The suspect is under control", Cologne police said.

As the sprinkler system activated and water rained down in the fast-food restaurant, the man entered an adjacent pharmacy and took another woman hostage, whom he also threatened to burn in the ensuing drama, said police. He was holding a real or replica pistol when commandos stormed the site and was in possession of camping gas containers. "A female hostage has sustained light injuries and is being tended to".

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