French police free hostages, arrest assailant

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Paris, June 13 (IANS) French security forces detained the man who took hostages in central Paris and rescued all of the captives safe and sound, the interior minister said.

“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 incident began around 4 p.m. on Tuesday in the offices of an unspecified media organization, an Interior Ministry spokesman told EFE, adding that the perpetrator took at least three people captive.

French police sources told EFE earlier that there was no indication the hostage-taker’s motive was terrorism.

Online publication Actu17 said that the hostage-taker claimed to be in possession of two bombs and had asked to speak with the Iranian ambassador in Paris and with the French government.

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Other press accounts said that the perpetrator was armed with a knife.

–IANS

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