Armed man takes hostages in Paris

Armed man takes hostages in Paris

Armed man takes hostages in Paris

A street in the French captial has been closed off as police cordon the area.

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

В Париже неизвестный захватил заложников в магазине

More than a dozen heavily-armed police officers, firefighters and rescue workers were stationed outside the building where the hostages were being held, located in a crowded neighborhood in the center of the French capital.

Authorities said that officers from a specialist unit had arrived on site in response to an "unstable person" who was holding two people. Their captor apparently was armed with knives.

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The man has asked to be put in contact with the Iranian embassy.

Officials at police headquarters would not immediately confirm whether the person holding the hostages was armed or describe the nature of his demands.

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During the negotiations, the hostage-taker reportedly evoked a unusual mix of events, from the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center to the kidnapping and death a year ago of a young girl in an Alpine town.

Three people, including a pregnant woman, were taken hostage however one managed to escape. The attacker, who appeared to be brandishing a fake weapon, had doused his remaining two hostages in petrol, the source said.

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