BERLIN (Reuters) -Police evacuated a shopping mall and surrounding areas in the eastern German city of Dresden on Saturday due to a suspected hostage taking, according to a police statement.
“The Dresden Police Department is currently carrying out an operation in downtown Dresden. The background is the suspicion of a hostage situation,” the police said in a statement on its website.
German daily Bild reported that an armed man had killed a woman, then stormed a local radio station and fired shots before fleeing into a shopping mall where he took several hostages.
Nobody picked up the phone at the Radio Dresden broadcaster or at the Altmarkt-Galerie shopping mall when called by Reuters.
Radio Dresden said on its website earlier that an armed man had entered the Ammonhof office building, where the radio station is located, around 8.30 am local time (0730 GMT) and that shots had been fired.
The police did not confirm the details reported by Radio Dresden and Bild but urged citizens to avoid the city centre. It added that the famous Striezelmarkt Christmas market would remain closed for the time being.
(Reporting by Sarah Marsh; Writing by Sarah Marsh and Maria Sheahan; Editing by Maria Sheahan and Ros Russell)