Dozens of police officers converged in an area of central Paris on Tuesday in response to a "hostage taking" situation by an armed man, police sources said.
There were two people taken hostage, according to initial reports.
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There were no immediate details on the age, appearance or nationality of the hostage taker.
Videos and images from the scene posted on social media show police officers outside a building in central Paris's Petites Ecuries street, near the rail hub Gare du Nord. The suspect reportedly doused two of the hostages with gasoline after the one managed to escape.
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The French police have said they believe the incident isn't related to terrorism. Law enforcement officials cordoned off the area.
"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.
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"Officials will be trying to start a negotiation with the man", police union official Yves Lefebvre told BFMTV.