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France

Two hostages are freed after four-hour standoff in central Paris

The motive for the attack was not clear, but incident did not appear to be terrorism-related, police said

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 June, 2018, 1:03am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 June, 2018, 3:46am

A four-hour hostage standoff in central Paris ended with police moving in, arresting the suspect and freeing those held, France’s interior minister said late Tuesday.

“All the hostages are safe and sound,” Gerard Collomb said in a brief statement. At least two people had been held.

The standoff began when the hostage taker 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 other man was slightly injured while fighting with the hostage taker and escaping before police arrived.

The motive for the attack was not clear but incident did not appear to be terrorism-related.

The identity of the male suspect – who reportedly asked to speak to the Iranian ambassador during negotiations – was not immediately known, and details of the final moments and the arrest remained unclear.

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

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