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Paris: Police in stand off after ‘armed’ man takes hostages

A man has taken three people hostage in the 10th arrondissement of Paris on Tuesday and told police he was armed with a gun and a bomb, according to reports. Scores of armed police have set up a security perimeter around the area.

The individual was reportedly holding two men and a pregnant woman hostage in the courtyard of an apartment block on Rue des Petites Ecuries in the 10th arrondissement of the city.

The man is "armed and holding at least two people," a source told AFP, adding that "the situation is quite confused" but did not appear to be terrorism-related.

"Based on our initial investigations it could be a mentally unstable person whose motivations are still unclear," another source said.

A spokesman for France's BRI intervention brigade said negotiations with the man were underway.

The standoff began around 4:00 pm (1400 GMT), with BFM television reporting that the man had entered the offices of a start-up company on the Rue des Petites Ecuries, a gritty area of the bustling 10th arrondissement.

At least one man was lightly injured while fighting with the hostage-taker and escaping before the BRI officers arrived on the scene, a police source said.

Crowds of bystanders were held back by a security perimeter at the site, where police and rescue workers were massed, deploying at least one remote-controlled robot on tracks toward the building where the armed man had barricaded himself.

Rue des Petites Ecuries. Googl maps

According to reports he had demanded to be put in contact with the Iranian ambassador in Paris and that he didn't want any police cars in the vicinity.

Several hostages held by a man in a Paris apartment in the 10th district. Entire area shut down. Hundreds of cops. Bomb squad also present. pic.twitter.com/StkVFWqurX

— Rory Mulholland (@mulhollandrory) June 12, 2018

Intervention policière en cours 45 rue des petites écuries a Paris. Personnes retranchées motif inconnu pic.twitter.com/4jfD3kLMxj

— Philippe Grasset (@PGrasset1) June 12, 2018

Images on Twitter showed scores of armed police in the neighbourhood apparently preparing to storm the building.

One of the hostages is believed to be injured and in a serious condition. Residents in the area have been told to stay inside.

France has been on high alert after a series of jihadist attacks in the past three years, most recently a Saturday night knife attack by a man in Paris last month in which one person was killed.

Intervention policière en cours 45 rue des petites écuries a Paris. Personnes retranchées motif inconnu pic.twitter.com/4jfD3kLMxj

— Philippe Grasset (@PGrasset1) June 12, 2018

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