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German airport closed after armed driver breaches gate, fires gun

The airport in the northern German city of Hamburg was closed to passengers, and flights were canceled Saturday night after a vehicle broke through security and entered the premises, German news agency dpa reported, prompting an hours-long standoff that dragged into Sunday morning. 

Federal police said an armed man had broken through a gate with his vehicle and fired twice into the air with a weapon. Police said later that the 35-year-old man had a 4-year-old child inside the car and that they assumed he was the father and had taken the child by force from the mother in a possible custody battle.

Hamburg police said negotiators had made contact with the suspect. Police also said that a psychologist was talking with the man and that there was no indication other people could be harmed since all passengers had evacuated the airport.

Police said a major operation was taking place on the airport's tarmac. The situation was still active as of early Sunday morning. 

Federal police spokesman Thomas Gerbert told dpa that a large number of officers from state and federal police were on site and in the vicinity of the vehicle.

Armed Man Breaks Through Gate At Hamburg Airport
Passengers are evacuated from Hamburg Airport on Nov. 5, 2023, in Hamburg, Germany, after police said a man armed with a gun drove a car through a perimeter gate onto the tarmac. Gregor Fischer / Getty Images
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