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Man who took woman hostage in Cologne train station told witnesses he was in ISIS and injured a girl, 14, in Molotov cocktail attack moments earlier

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 10/16/2018 Sara Malm for MailOnline

a person in a military uniform: Taking action: Armed police are seen outside Cologne train station where a man lit a Molotov cocktail in a McDonald's - injuring two, including a teenage girl - before taking a woman hostage in a nearby pharmacy

Taking action: Armed police are seen outside Cologne train station where a man lit a Molotov cocktail in a McDonald's - injuring two, including a teenage girl - before taking a woman hostage in a nearby pharmacy
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited

The man who took a woman hostage at a train station in Germany, told witnesses he belonged to ISIS and injured two people - including a 14-year-old girl - before sparking a tense stand-off with police yesterday.

Police believe the man is a 55-year-old Syrian citizen who arrived in Germany in 2016, after finding an ID card at the scene of the crime 'likely' belonging to the perpetrator. 

The unnamed man walked into a McDonald's at Cologne's main train station just before 1pm Monday, where he lit a Molotov cocktail before taking a woman hostage in a nearby pharmacy. 

A 14-year-old girl was hospitalized with burns and a woman at the fast-food restaurant was treated for smoke inhalation, police said.

'Witnesses told us that the attacker said he belonged to the Islamic State group as he was entering the restaurant, but we cannot confirm this,' Cologne Police Marshal Klaus Rueschenschmidt said during a news conference.

During negotiations over the hostage, the man asked for the release of a Tunisian woman and demanded to be allowed to leave the train station unimpeded, Rueschenschmidt told reporters.

The hostage situation ended after 2.5 hours when police officers stormed the pharmacy, seriously injuring the perpetrator.  

A police spokesman said the perpetrator's motives are still not clear, but added that they are investigating if he had extremist connections or beliefs.

The hostage was taken to a hospital after her ordeal, but it wasn't clear if the suspect harmed her or if she was injured when a special police unit stormed the train station pharmacy where she was held to free her. 

The suspect underwent surgery Monday night for life-threatening injuries, including gunshot wounds.

Investigators said they found gas cartridges inside the the pharmacy's backroom and an ID card for a 55-year-old Syrian citizen. They said the ID likely was the suspect's, but police didn't divulge the name on it. 

A person with that name came to Cologne in 2016 and was known to local law enforcement for burglary and other previous crimes, as well as for drug-related incidents, they said. 

Police said it would likely take a while to get a full picture of what happened at the train station and why. 

Before police stormed the pharmacy, the entire train station, one of the biggest in Germany, was evacuated. All train traffic was stopped, leading to delays and cancelations across western Germany.

The station was reopened on Monday night, but service remained delayed. 

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