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November 4, 2023
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Armed man holds child hostage, Hamburg airport closed

On Saturday evening, an armed motorist breached security at Hamburg Airport, prompting a complete suspension of flight operations. Police reports suggest that the man is holding a four-year-old child hostage in his vehicle, possibly due to a custody dispute.

Around 8 p.m., the armed man forcefully entered the airport grounds, breaking through a gate with his vehicle and proceeding to the airport apron. He fired two shots into the air upon entry. Photos from the airport depicted a damaged barrier that the man had apparently crashed through. Prior to this incident, the man’s wife had reported a possible child abduction to the state police.

The police suspect that a custody dispute triggered the hostage situation. According to preliminary information, the child in question had been with his mother in Stade earlier that day. It is believed that the child was taken away from the mother, possibly through the use of force, and transported to Hamburg, where the incident unfolded at the airport.

Substantial law enforcement resources, including special operations units, police psychologists, and the Federal Police’s evidence and arrest unit, are on the scene near the man’s vehicle. Negotiations with the armed man are ongoing, conducted in Turkish, as per the latest reports. There is no confirmation of a second child being in the man’s custody.

The man also threw two “Molotov cocktail”-type incendiary devices from his car, which were successfully extinguished by the airport fire brigade. The airport is currently being cleared as a precautionary security measure.

As of now, there have been no reports of injuries, and there is no immediate threat to third parties. A plane parked on the airport apron has been evacuated.

Hamburg Airport faced a prior closure in October due to a threat of attack on a flight from Tehran to Hamburg. In July, climate activists from the Last Generation group disrupted airport operations for several hours by entering the premises with bicycles, affecting thousands of passengers, including families with children.

Source: NDR

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