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German cinema hostage-taker was carrying fake weapons

Policemen stand near a cinema where an armed man barricaded himself in Viernheim, southern Germany, on June 23, 2016. Shooting in Viernheim, Germany on June 23, 2016. No patrons of a German cinema stormed by an armed man were hurt and all have been released, Hesse state interior minister Peter Beuth said. / AFP PHOTO / DANIEL ROLAND

Policemen stand near a cinema where an armed man barricaded himself in Viernheim, southern Germany, on June 23, 2016. Shooting in Viernheim, Germany on June 23, 2016.<br />No patrons of a German cinema stormed by an armed man were hurt and all have been released, Hesse state interior minister Peter Beuth said. / AFP PHOTO / DANIEL ROLAND

A masked man who was shot dead by police after barricading himself in a German multiplex cinema with dozens of people was carrying fake weapons, prosecutors said Friday.

The man was identified as a 19-year-old German national, who on Thursday took four cinema employees and 14 visitors hostage at the complex in the western town of Viernheim, 75 kilometres (50 miles) south of Frankfurt.

But prosecutors in the state of Hesse said it turned out that the pistol and rifle he was carrying were replicas, and the grenades dummies.

They added that the motive of man’s action remained unclear, and that there were no indications of any terrorist or political motive.

No one else was injured in the incident.

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