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Hamburg airport traffic halted over 'custody dispute hostage situation'

By Agence France-Presse Published Nov 05, 2023 9:38 am

Traffic at Hamburg airport was halted and the terminals evacuated on Saturday night, Nov. 4 over a "hostage situation" believed to have arisen over a custody dispute, police said.

On Saturday evening, a gunman had rammed his car through the security area onto the tarmac, firing two shots in the air and flinging two burning bottles out of the vehicle, a police spokesman said.

At least two individuals—including a child—were in the car, police said.

The wife of the driver had placed an emergency call alerting police to the abduction of her child, the spokesman added.

"We are on site with a large contingent of emergency services. We are currently assuming a static hostage situation," Hamburg police said on X (formerly Twitter).

The car remained parked in the apron area of the airport.

Police added later Saturday that they believed "that a custody dispute is the background to this operation."

Psychologists as well as officers specialized in negotiations are on site, said police, adding that they were in contact with the individual in the vehicle. (AFP)