Authorities believe a person with ties to Islamic militants entered a French bank with a round of revolvers and took at least six hostages.
The police said the incident took place in the port city of Le Havre around 5 pm local time, and the authorities quickly sealed off the area.
Local media quoted the authorities and reported that the authorities were worried that explosives might be involved.
A senior police union official who was in contact with the officials in the negotiations said the suspect was a 34-year-old male on the watch list of the security agency.
“We have identified him. He is on the watch list. We know he is aggressive and suffering from a serious mental illness,” the head of the SGP Unite police union told Reuters.
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However, the official did not confirm the French media reports, and he made confusing demands. According to French customs, the official’s name cannot be identified.
RAID is a special intervention unit that was on site at the time. The force is trained to negotiate to resolve tensions, and if it fails, it should move on.
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At least two people were released without injury.
This is a developing story. Please check for updates.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.