Cologne 'hostage situation': German police swoop on train station

Police are urging people to stay away from Cologne's main train station

During negotiations over the hostage, the man asked for the release of a Tunisian woman and demanded to be allowed to leave the train station unimpeded, Rueschenschmidt told reporters.

German media reported that several shots appeared to have been fired at the station, which is next to the city's landmark cathedral.

"We also do not rule out a terrorist attack", Brauns said.

It is not yet known if the hostage-taker is armed, but are in contact with him.

"We have indications that one man is holding one woman, but we haven't been able to really get close", Schulte said.

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RPT police said a hostage was taken at Breslauer Platz, a major square near the busy train station.

Police forces stand at the Cologne, western Germany, main station Monday, Oct. 15, 2018, after they have closed parts of the station because of a hostage situation.

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.

The attacker had to be resuscitated and was in intensive care for "extremely serious" injuries sustained when officers stormed the shop, they added.

A woman held hostage by the perpetrator was only "lightly wounded", police tweeted shortly after she was freed around 3:00 pm (1300 GMT).

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