Five dead in German hostage crisis (Lead)

July 5th, 2012 - 5:40 am ICT by IANS  

Berlin, July 4 (IANS) All four hostages and an armed kidnapper died Wednesday in a seige in Karlsruhe city in southwest Germany, media reports said.

Xinhua said the man took four people hostage in a building in the morning during an attempted eviction of an apartment.

Rampant shooting was reported around 9 a.m. when two court bailiffs tried to carry out a forceful eviction of the flat. All five died of gunshot wounds.

BBC said the hostages included a bailiff, a locksmith, the flat-owner and a prospective tenant. The gunman was facing eviction for not paying his rent.

Special forces broke into the apartment after smelling smoke and found the bodies.

The gunman had several hunting weapons and did not establish direct contact with the police.

The area was sealed off and hundreds of police officers were deployed. A school and a kindergarten nearby were evacuated.

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