German prison inmate shot dead after taking hostage

By Carsten Linnhoff, dpa

An inmate at a prison in the German city of Muenster has been shot dead in a police operation after he took a hostage, justice officials said on Friday.

A spokeswoman for the Justice Ministry of North Rhine Westphalia said that the man had taken a female prison employee hostage, prompting a police operation lasting several hours in which the inmate had been killed.

Police, who were alerted to the hostage situation at around 6:30 am (0430 GMT), tweeted at shortly before 10 am that the hostage had been freed unharmed and that the inmate was dead.

Neither the ministry nor police gave information about the identity of the perpetrator.

The prison is located in the city centre and the police operation has resulted in significant disruption to traffic.

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