Merkel Cancels Rally as Armed Man Takes Hostages in Ingolstadt

German Chancellor Angela Merkel canceled an election rally in the Bavarian city of Ingolstadt after an armed man took several hostages in the town hall.

Merkel and Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer, who had been due to speak in the home town of carmaker Audi at 5 p.m., canceled their appearance because of the hostage situation, the Christian Democratic Union and its CSU sister party said by e-mail today.

The man entered the building at about 9 a.m and is holding an unspecified number of people, police spokesman Guenther Beck said by phone. The perpetrator has as yet made no demands, he said. Merkel, running for a third term in Sept. 22 elections, was due to hold rallies in Ingolstadt and nearby Regensburg before traveling to Erlangen and Dachau tomorrow.

The perpetrator is a 23-year-old man, convicted of stalking a town hall employee who had ended a friendship with him, local newspaper Donaukurier reported. The man has been treated in a psychiatric clinic close to the town hall, he said.

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