An inmate at a prison in the German city of Muenster has been shot dead in a police operation after he took a hostage and threatened her with a razor blade, justice officials say.
A spokeswoman for the Justice Ministry of North Rhine Westphalia said that the man had taken a female prison employee hostage, prompting a police operation that lasted several hours in which the inmate was killed.
Police, who were alerted to the hostage situation about 6.30am, tweeted at shortly before 10am that the hostage had been freed unharmed and that the inmate was dead.
The Muenster prosecutor's office said the man - a homeless alcoholic incarcerated for kicking a police officer - had demanded a helicopter to enable him to escape from prison.
The prison is located in the city centre and the police operation significantly disrupted traffic.