Paris police in ‘hostage taking’ standoff with armed man

Paris police in ‘hostage taking’ standoff with armed man

Videos and images from the scene posted on social media showed police outside a building in central Paris's Petites Ecuries street.

The unidentified man took the three hostages around 4 p.m. after entering the building pretending to be a delivery man.

"The individual has been arrested and the hostages are out of danger", Gerard Collomb wrote on Twitter, praising police, especially the elite BRI unit, for their "professionalism and responsiveness".

The man was described as "determined and violent" and claimed to have a handgun and a bomb according to police, The Guardian reported.

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"Two hostages. including one who had petrol poured on them", have been freed police said.

Paris prosecutors have opened a investigation into alleged kidnapping, armed violence, threatening behaviour and attempted murder.

The freed hostage was reportedly doused with gasoline and hit in the face as he was freed, according to Lefebvre, head of the FO police union. "His demands were really vague and incoherent", said an interior ministry official. Police swept vehicles in the area with a device but found nothing, he said.

Paris police have not revealed how many people were taken hostage.

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