Paris police in ‘hostage taking’ standoff with armed man

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An armed man took three hostages in Paris on Tuesday afternoon, demanding to be put in contact with the Iranian Embassy.

The hostage-taker reportedly entered the building in Rue des Petites Ecuries, pretending to be a food-delivery courier, at around 4pm local time.

"All the hostages are safe and sound", Gerard Collomb said in a brief statement.

Police have not confirmed that the hostage-taker is armed. "The negotiator had difficulty understanding".

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The man was described as "determined and violent" and claimed to have a handgun and a bomb according to police, The Guardian reported.

More than a dozen heavily-armed police officers, firefighters and rescue workers were stationed outside the building where the hostages were being held, located in a crowded neighborhood in the center of the French capital.

"Two hostages, including one who had petrol poured on them", have been freed police said.

One of the hostages is reportedly a pregnant woman, and another is "severely injured", according to a witness. At this time, police do not now believe the situation is terror-related. The suspect reportedly doused two of the hostages with gasoline after the one managed to escape.