11 hostages seized at German fast-food restaurant

An unidentified man raises his arms as he leaves the scene of a hostage-taking at a fast-food restaurant in Freiburg, Germany, on Friday. Vincent Kessler / Reuters

Eleven people were held hostage for about 14 hours in a fast-food restaurant before the suspect, who is also the manager of the establishment, was captured early Friday, police said.

The 36-year-old man barricaded himself in an eatery in Freiburg, Germany, on Thursday night. He was armed and had cans of flammable liquids and threatened to blow himself up, police said. 

The people holed-up inside with him were family members and acquaintances, according to police. They included children.

The standoff, which began around 7 p.m. Thursday (1 p.m. ET), ended around 9 a.m. local time Friday (3 a.m. ET).

The suspect's motive remains unknown, police said, adding that during the night, the man had appeared emotional and even desperate at times. 

A Freiburg police spokesman said the suspect, a father of five, was of Kurdish origin and had a criminal record. He first immigrated to Germany in 1996. 

According to a news release, the man was well known to local police for previous violations, including possession of weapons and explosives, blackmail and physical brutality. He was arrested in 2011 and 2012, both times for possession of a sharp weapon, police said, adding that the man was currently wanted by authorities over narcotics violations.

Authorities said the man had missed a court date last week and likely feared the consequences. Around 7 p.m. that night, the man called the police emergency line asking to speak with the mayor or the police chief -- and threatening a disaster would occur otherwise. 

Shortly before 9 a.m. Friday, authorities managed to persuade the man to leave the building, along with the people he was holding. At that time, special forces apprehended him.