A police operation has cordoned off a pharmacy in the center of Karlsruhe (southern Germany), where an unknown assailant allegedly took several hostagesreported the police of that city.
The Karlsruhe Police asked citizens, via Twitter, to avoid the area around Ettlinger Street, which remains cordoned off because it has not yet been clarified to what extent there is a risk to the population.
German media reported that the assault began around 4:30 p.m. local time (3:30 p.m. GMT), although hardly any details have been released since then, beyond the fact that the police are in contact with the man. individual or individuals that they have barricaded themselves in the pharmacy.
A large number of officers had been deployed to the site, a police spokesman said, but declined to say for tactical reasons how many hostages were taken or how many police officers were at the scene.
There is a single armed assailant with a firearm who has taken two hostages and who is asking for a large amount of money in exchange for their release, according to the newspaper Stuttgarter Nachrichteno.
He Stuttgarter Zeitung reported that two people had been taken hostage and that there was a ransom demand in the amount of one million euros. The police spokesman declined to comment on the report.
Several witnesses have reported that they have heard shots, according to this same medium.
A series of events in the vicinity of the pharmacy were canceled as a precaution and the authorities opened a makeshift shelter to accommodate citizens who, due to the closure of the surrounding streets, were unable to return to their homes.
The events happen less than 24 hours after an assailant broke into a religious service of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the northern city of Hamburg and end the lives of seven people before taking his own life when police special forces arrived.
The Hamburg attacker was a former Jehovah’s Witness who had left the community last year and obtained a weapons permit shortly thereafter, according to reports that have been made public. There are also indications of a possible psychiatric disorder.
(With information from EFE and Reuters)
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