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Last Updated: Monday, 28 April, 2003, 08:47 GMT 09:47 UK
Police end third German hijack
Police surround the bus
The hijacking was the third in Germany in two weeks
Police in Berlin have overpowered a man who hijacked a bus - the third bus hijacking in Germany in just over two weeks.

The incident on Sunday began at about 2030 local time (1830GMT) when a man armed with a knife took control of a bus in the Berlin suburb of Rheineckendorf.

"He pulled out the knife, threatened people with it and gave the bus driver orders," police officer Klaus Kleese told the Associated Press news agency.

The 27-year-old man freed a family of five as soon as he took control of the bus, which remained stationary throughout the incident, AP reported.

Police commandos stormed the bus about three-quarters of an hour later, freeing the remaining three passengers and driver, who were unhurt.

Police released no details about the man other than that he was not a German citizen.


Sunday's hijacking appears to be a copycat attack based on one two days earlier, where a 17-year-old of Lebanese origin seized a bus in the city of Bremen.

A police officer covers a person's face after the end of the hijacking
Police have revealed few details about the man
Police ended that hijacking after a four-hour, 170-kilometre (105-mile) chase along one of the country's main motorways.

The hijacker - who had threatened the bus driver with a gun - gave himself up when police boarded the bus and disarmed him.

Police said later that he had written a letter in praise of the 11 September 2001 hijackers.

He reportedly demanded the release of an 11 September suspect held by the US.

Two weeks earlier, a man commandeered a bus in Berlin following an attempted bank robbery.

He gave himself up after police threw a smoke grenade into the bus and forced their way in, shooting him in the shoulder.

No hostages have been reported injured in any of the three incidents.

German bus hijack ends
25 Apr 03  |  Europe
Berlin bus hijack siege ends
11 Apr 03  |  Europe


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