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Hostage drama ends without fatalities

Berlin AFP-JIJI

A hostage drama in Germany ended without fatalities on Monday, police said, after the tense nine-hour standoff forced Chancellor Angela Merkel to cancel a campaign rally in the same town.

Police ended the confrontation, leaving the 24-year-old hostage-taker wounded and his two remaining captives — one of whom is a woman he had been stalking — unharmed, police said.

The hostage-taker, reportedly a former psychiatric patient, had carried what turned out to be an imitation handgun and a large knife when he entered the town hall of Ingolstadt, north of Munich, at around 9 a.m., taking four hostages.

The man freed one female captive almost immediately, and five hours later also let Deputy Mayor Sepp Misslbeck go, but kept two others. Police and a psychiatrist kept negotiating with the man, whose only demands were for a doner kebab and cigarettes. Nearly nine hours after the crisis began, the last two hostages were released unharmed.