Cologne train station hostage situation in Germany today

Police officers stand in positions in the Central Station in Cologne western Germany

It was not immediately clear how he was injured.

Travellers were ordered to evacuate the large central station, which sits on Cologne's Dom Platz beneath the city's historic cathedral early Monday afternoon.

"Police measures are continuing", Cologne police wrote on Twitter just after the special unit assaulted the shop.

Police quoted by the Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger daily said a couple were involved, and a man had argued with a woman in a McDonald's restaurant, before holding her in a pharmacy at the station.

She was freed when police stormed the shop.

Police spokesman Christoph Gilles said they were working to find out "what the hostage-taker wants, what his demands are and whether he carries a weapon", adding that police were not aware of the man's motive.

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Police refused to speculate whether the incident was terror related, said DW's David Martin.

Syrian identity documents had been found in the pharmacy for a man who had been issued a residency permit in Germany valid until 2021.

Klaus-Stephan Becker, head of Cologne criminal police, also told news channel NTV that "it could be a foiled terrorist attack".

The woman was released and was taken to hospital.

Germany remains a target for jihadist groups, in particular because of its involvement in the coalition fighting IS in Iraq and Syria, and its deployment in Afghanistan since 2001.

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