Arrest ends hostage siege in Paris; one victim lightly hurt

French police officers leave after the arrest of a gunman who took two people hostage in central Paris and his victims freed ‘safe and sound.’ — AFP photo

PARIS: An armed man who took two people hostage in central Paris on Tuesday has been arrested and his victims freed ‘safe and sound’, police in the French capital said.

“Two hostages including one who had petrol poured on them” have been freed, police said, adding that the man had been armed with a knife.

The standoff began around 4.00pm (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.

At least one other man was lightly injured while fighting with the hostage-taker before police arrived on the scene.

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

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

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

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