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German police kill masked gunman after storming Viernheim cinema

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German Polizei
German Polizei

A masked and armed man barricaded himself in a German multiplex cinema with dozens of people inside Thursday before being killed by police, officials said.

No hostages were injured in the complex in the western town of Viernheim, 75 kilometres (50 miles) south of Frankfurt, Hesse state interior minister Peter Beuth said.

“The assailant moved through the cinema complex, according to the information we have now, and appeared confused,” he said.

“There were hostages inside and there was a struggle (with police) until in the end he was dead.”

Beuth added: “We have no information that anyone (among the cinema-goers) was injured.”

A police spokeswoman in the nearby city of Darmstadt confirmed that “all the hostages were unhurt and led out of the building”.

Initial reports had referred to dozens of wounded people and several shots fired, and police dispatched heavily armed special units to the site.

Later accounts said that several people had been hurt by tear gas during the police raid but this was also denied.

German authorities said they had no information on the man’s identity or motive. Security sources quoted by DPA news agency said there was “no link to terrorism.”

The police spokeswoman said they were investigating what type of weapon the assailant used, adding that it was possible it fired blanks.

COVER PHOTO: Policemen stand near a cinema where an armed man barricaded himself in Viernheim, southern Germany, on June 23, 2016. Shooting in Viernheim, Germany on June 23, 2016.

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