Man holds two people hostage in Paris

An armed man is believed to have seized at least one hostage in Rue des Petites Ecuries, with armed police and firefighters at the scene.

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

The freed hostage was reportedly doused with gasoline and hit in the face as he was freed, according to Lefebvre, head of the FO police union.

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There was no indication of a terrorist motive, police said.

"The man claims to be in possession of a bomb and a handgun", France Bleu said, adding that the hostage-taker demanded to speak with Iranian embassy.

The area around the incident in the 10th arrondissement of Paris was ringed off by police.

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There were no immediate details on the age, appearance or nationality of the hostage taker.

Police said Tuesday they could not confirm whether the man was armed.

Negotiations with the suspect were taking place, according to an Interior Ministry official who couldn't be identified because the operation was in progress.

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