Paris on lockdown as 'armed man takes hostages'

French police and a fireman secure the street after a man took people hostage at a shop

The man is "armed and holding at least two people", a source told AFP, adding that "the situation is quite confused" but did not appear to be terrorism-related.

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.

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

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Police also said the man was believed to have an accomplice outside the building where he was holding the hostage in a northern district of the French capital.

The standoff began around 4:00 pm (1400 GMT), with BFM television reporting that the man had entered the offices of a start-up company on the Rue des Petites Ecuries, a gritty area of the bustling 10th arrondissement.

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

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Interior Minister Gerard Collomb posted on Twitter just before 8 p.m.in Paris, saying the hostages had been freed and the suspect was detained by police.

Police officers stand on a street near the site of an ongoing hostage taking on June 12, 2018 in central Paris. He requested that the ambassador then pass the note to French authorities.

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