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Europe
German store hostages released
Several people freed without injury in Leipzig after being held hostage for hours.
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2010 19:41 GMT
Police evacuated a large part of the city centre
after being called to the shop [AFP]

Several people were released unharmed after being held hostage for several hours in a clothing store in the German city of Leipzig, a police spokeswoman has said.

Police commandos were called to the H&M clothing shop after a man with a gun was reported to be threatening customers around midday on Tuesday.

Hostages were released unharmed, many of them suffering from shock, a police spokeswoman said.

Spokeswoman Uta Barthel told The Associated Press news agency that a 41-year-old man was in custody and authorities believed that psychological problems led to his taking people hostage with a weapon.

She declined to say how many people had been taken hostage, but said all were being cared for by medical professionals.

The Bild newspaper named the man on its website as Oliver Q., a  41-year-old with previous firearms offences.

Police commandos evacuated a large part of the city centre and deployed snipers on rooftops after being called to the store at around 12:30 pm  (10:30 GMT).

A police officer said it was unclear whether the man was armed with a real gun or a toy.

Source:
Agencies
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