Berlin - A man took several people hostage at the city hall in the Bavarian city of Ingolstadt on Monday, police said.
It wasn't clear what weapons the man might have or what he wanted, police spokesperson Guenther Beck said. The incident started shortly before 09:00 (0700 GMT) on Monday and Beck said police were in contact with the man by telephone.
Beck said there "several" hostages but he couldn't be specific. There was no immediate word on who the hostage-taker was.
The hostage-taking happened several hours before Chancellor Angela Merkel was due in the city for a late afternoon rally. Germany holds national elections on 22 September, and Bavaria votes in a state election a week earlier.
The old city hall, one of two city halls in Ingolstadt, dates back to the 14th century, though the building was expanded in the 19th century. It is home to the mayor's office and the city's tourist information office, among other administrative departments.