Paris bank hostage situation: 1 woman still held by armed man

PARIS (AFP) - An armed man was holding a woman hostage in a bank in Paris on Friday after releasing three other people he had seized, the police said.

The man entered the branch of CIC bank in Paris's southern 13th district around 2.50pm GMT with a handgun and was demanding social housing for himself and his son, the police said.

He took three women and a man hostage but quickly released two of the women and, 11/2 hours later, released the man.

One of the bank's employees managed to trigger an alarm shortly after the man entered the bank.

Six helmeted police officers, including one carrying a shield, could be seen standing outside the entrance to the bank branch.

The area was closed off to traffic and police set up a perimeter of about 100m around the bank. Two snipers were deployed on nearby rooftops and two more on the sidewalk.

A command post was set up in a restaurant facing the bank.

When reached by AFP, representatives of CIC declined to make any immediate comment.