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Armed man storms German cinema, several hurt: reports

[FRANKFURT] A masked and armed man stormed a German multiplex cinema Thursday and several people were hurt, according to unconfirmed media reports.

The daily Bild said at least 25 people were injured, possibly by tear gas in a police operation, at the cinema in the western town of Viernheim.

Witnesses said they heard shots but it was not immediately clear whether they were live rounds or blanks. Local media said the assailant was later shot and killed by police.

A police spokesman declined to comment in detail, speaking only of an "unclear threat situation".

The daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said that the man had entered the cinema around 3:00 pm (1300 GMT) and barricaded himself inside as terrified cinema-goers fled.

The area was cordoned off and special police forces were dispatched to the scene, television images showed.