Sunday 16 December 2018

Police shoot man who firebombed restaurant

German special Police walks near the main train station in Cologne, Germany, after the train station was closed after hostage-taking. Photo: Thilo Schmuelgen/Reuters
German special Police walks near the main train station in Cologne, Germany, after the train station was closed after hostage-taking. Photo: Thilo Schmuelgen/Reuters

Justin Huggler

A man threw a Molotov cocktail into a crowded McDonald's cafe before taking a woman hostage in Cologne's main railway station in what police say may have been a failed terror attack.

A 14-year-old girl suffered burns to her legs when the man, claiming to be a member of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil), attacked the restaurant.

He then took a woman hostage in a pharmacy inside the station complex while onlookers fled. Witnesses described him as shouting that he was acting for Isil.

Police special forces stormed the station and freed the hostage, who suffered moderate injuries, according to emergency services.

The suspect was shot in the stomach by police marksmen and was said to be in critical condition last night.

The incident began at around 11.45pm when the suspect threw a Molotov cocktail into the station's McDonald's. A 14-year-old girl was injured but managed to escape.

"It was indescribable, terrible to look at," a witness who saw the teenager's injuries told the local Express newspaper.

The girl was rushed to hospital and was said to be in stable condition last night.

Police made the decision to storm the station when the suspect threatened to set light to a female hostage. He had taped gas cartridges to her body and poured fuel over her.

Irish Independent

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