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Man involved in German cinema siege was armed with replica rifle

Man involved in German cinema siege was armed with replica rifle

A masked man who was shot dead after taking hostages in a German cinema was armed with only a harmless replica rifle, a pistol and fake grenades.

Darmstadt prosecutors said it was still not clear what motives were behind the incident, but they had found no evidence the man had a political or terrorist background.

They identified the suspect as a 19-year-old German born in Mannheim - about 6 miles from the town where the incident occurred. They said the suspect lived in northern Germany but gave no other details.

He was killed by police after taking 18 people hostage in the theatre in Viernheim and firing blank rounds into the air.

None of the man's hostages were injured.