Paris in­ci­dent ends with man ar­rested and hostages re­leased

The Guardian Australia - - Politics / World News - Kim Will­sher in Paris

A four-hour stand-off be­tween an armed man who took hostages at a build­ing in a north­ern dis­trict of Paris and po­lice has ended with­out blood­shed.

French spe­cial forces ne­go­ti­ated with the man, who claimed to have a hand­gun and a bomb and de­manded to be put in con­tact with the Ira­nian em­bassy in Paris, through­out the siege.

The man, de­scribed by po­lice as “de­ter­mined and vi­o­lent”, claimed to have an ac­com­plice out­side the build­ing. First in­di­ca­tions were that the in­ci­dent was not terror-re­lated.

The hostage-taker re­port­edly en­tered the build­ing at 45 Rue des Pe­tites Écuries at around 4pm lo­cal time on Tues­day, pre­tend­ing to be a food de­liv­ery courier.

He hit one man, who man­aged to flee. A preg­nant woman also man­aged to es­cape and was be­ing treated for shock by am­bu­lance ser­vices on the scene.

The hostages were re­port­edly held in the in­ter­nal court­yard of the build­ing, which con­tains a mix of of­fices and res­i­den­tial apart­ments. Within min­utes of be­ing alerted, po­lice, French spe­cial forces with anti-ex­plo­sive ro­bots, the fire brigade and am­bu­lance ser­vices had sur­rounded the build­ing.

Po­lice sealed off the area and evac­u­ated the Rue des Pe­tites Écuries.

The man who es­caped con­firmed to po­lice that the hostage-taker had punched him in the face. The as­sailant re­port­edly told po­lice ne­go­tia­tors he had a letter that he wished to give to the Ira­nian am­bas­sador with the re­quest that the am­bas­sador handed it over to the French au­thor­i­ties.

Around 8pm lo­cal time, Paris po­lice of­fi­cials con­firmed the man had been ar­rested and the hostages re­leased “safe and sound” but shocked. The sus­pect had re­port­edly drenched one of the hostages and the room he was hold­ing them in with petrol.

Shortly be­fore 8pm, the French in­te­rior min­is­ter Gérard Col­lomb tweeted: “The in­di­vid­ual has been ar­rested and the hostages are out of dan­ger. I salute the pro­fes­sion­al­ism and re­ac­tion of the po­lice and emer­gency ser­vices and in par­tic­u­lar the BRI of the po­lice pre­fec­ture and the Paris fire ser­vice whose sup­port was de­ci­sive.”

A wit­ness liv­ing in the build­ing con­firmed po­lice had taken away the sus­pected hostage-taker, wear­ing a mask and black cloth­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to BFM TV, po­lice of­fi­cials said the hostage-taker’s claims were “con­fused” and that he had evoked Iran, Is­lam, 11 Septem­ber and the re­cent mur­der of a young girl. The chan­nel re­ported that he is a 27-year-old with no known ter­ror­ist links who is un­known to the po­lice and in­tel­li­gence ser­vices and is not on the Fiché S list of po­ten­tial se­cu­rity threats.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.