Heavily armed police units deployed to the German city of Cologne Monday after shots were reported to have been fired and a hostage taken at the city’s central rail station by a 55-year-old Syrian Muslim ISIS sympathizer.
Breitbart German police have stormed the pharmacy where the alleged Muslim attacker is reported to have holed up with a captured woman, having previously attacked a 14-year-old girl with fire at a McDonald’s restaurant.
Cologne’s Expressnewspaper reportsboth the hostage and the attacker have been injured. The Muslim suspect is reported to have spoken in Arabic about the Islamic State.
Independent The suspect, believed to be a 55-year-old Syrian, suffered life-threatening injuries during an operation to rescue the captive, who was slightly hurt and treated at the scene. Moments before taking the woman hostage on Monday, the man lit a Molotov cocktail inside a station restaurant, injuring a 14-year-old girl. The teenager was taken to hospital with burns and another woman was treated for smoke inhalation.
The railway station is a busy hub for trains across Germany and Europe and is located next to Cologne’s cathedral, a popular tourist attraction. Investigators said they found gas cartridges inside the pharmacy’s store room and an ID card for a man known to police for theft, fraud and drug offences.
Cologne’s central station itself is a major interchange for trains across Germany and Western Europe. The square to the south-west of the building is this century perhaps best known for having been the site of the 2015-16 New Year’s Eve sex attacks, which saw hundreds of sexual assaults, dozens of rapes, as well as thefts and other crimes perpetrated against young German women by predominantly migrant males.