An armed man was holed up and has taken several hostages at a post office northwest of Paris, an official at the city prosecutor’s office, and the police said there did not appear to be any link to extremist attacks.
The man equipped with a military weapon had taken an unconfirmed number of hostages at the post office in the town of Colombes, not far outside the capital, French media reported earlier.
Police sources said several post office clients had managed to escape and that the gunman himself had called them. The sources said he was “speaking incoherently” and was heavily armed with grenades and Kalashnikovs.
“I cannot confirm or deny whether it is linked to terrorism,” the official said declining to give further details.
BFM TV, citing an unidentified source, said the hostage taking was not related to last week’s attacks in Paris.
French police arrested 12 people earlier on Friday suspected of helping militant Islamist gunmen in last week’s killings in Paris. There have been numerous false alerts across the city since the attacks.
The area around the post office in Colombes, a city northwest of Paris, had been cordoned off, with a helicopter flying overhead and elite security forces on the ground.
The French capital is still jittery after a series of attacks last week by Islamist gunmen left 17 people dead.