Huge police operation at Cologne job centre as staff ‘threatened by foreign men’
ARMED police swooped on a job centre in the German city of Cologne today as the arrest of a group of migrants who “threatened” staff sparked fears of a knife woman on the loose.
By Nick Gutteridge and Monika Pallenberg
Express.co.uk, Thu, Jul 28, 2016 |
Cops were scrambled to the building this afternoon after staff hit the panic alarm after feeling threatened by a group of “foreign” jobseekers.
Whilst police arrested one of the men over threats to kill a worker came up to them and reported seeing a woman with a knife on the loose, sparking mass panic.
However, after searching the building officers told Express.co.uk they believe the sighting was an error borne out of the confusion.
Police headed to the building at around 3pm to arrest a man who had made a death threat after finding out that he had appointment at the employment office for that time.
There are reports of an armed gunman in the building
Police are at the scene in Cologne
According to the German newspaper Bild this operation was linked to an alleged fight between two men at a nearby refugee camp last night, during which one threatened to kill the other.
Officers who arrived at the building arrested the man and four fellow asylum seekers, according to reports.
The German newspaper Express, citing a police spokesman, said the drama broke out after staff felt threatened by “foreign” jobseekers from the district of Muelheim in the city and called in officers. The paper said five people had been arrested, of which four were subsequently released.
It was whilst police were arresting the men that a workers raised the fears of a knife woman on the loose.
Employees were ordered to barricade themselves in their offices and the building was placed on lockdown whilst armed officers searched it, but they discovered nothing.
Cologne Police said in a tweet: “Police operation at job centre in Luxemburger Street due to threatening behaviour. Information over bomb threat is false.”
Amid the initial confusion there were reports of both a gunman and a gun woman on the loose in the building.
Armed police rushed to the building after an employee hit the panic alarm at the building on Luxembourg Road, in the north-west German city.
A police spokesman said: “The situation is still very confusing.” The area was cordoned off and is being searched.”
Cologne has taken in huge numbers of asylum seekers welcomed into the country by Angela Merkel, and was the scene of a spate of horrific sex attacks linked to migrants on New Year’s Eve.
Germany has been rocked by a week of violent terror which has included two Islamic State (ISIS) inspired attacks and a shooting spree at a shopping centre in Munich.