Hamburg (dpa) - Special police forces ended a hostage-taking with children bloodlessly in Hamburg on Friday morning.

They took three minors from an apartment in the Billstedt district, as a spokesman for the authorities said.

The police initially gave no information about the age and gender of the children.

The man armed with a knife had barricaded himself for reasons that were initially unknown.

The officers overpowered the apparently mentally ill person.

The children were physically unharmed, it was said.

They were looked after by a crisis intervention team.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210514-99-597624 / 2