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3 hurt in Cologne hostage-taking

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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. “Special response units overpowered the man. During the police action he hurt two bystanders, one of them seriously,” police said in a statement. The attacker had to be resuscitated and was in intensive care for “extremely serious” injuries sustained when officers stormed the shop, they added.

“The motive of the attacker remains unclear,” a spokesman said soon after he was subdued. A woman held hostage by the perpetrator was only “lightly wounded”, police tweeted shortly after she was freed around 3:00 pm (1300 GMT). But another victim, a 14-year-old girl, was brought to hospital suffering from burns. Eyewitnesses said the teenager had been in a cafe close to the pharmacy immediately before the hostage-taking. Police set up a webpage where members of the public could upload pictures and video related to the incident, while their own investigations were “at full pitch”. They began receiving calls about the violence around lunchtime.

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