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Paris travel agency hostages released, gunman still at large

Paris travel agency hostages released, gunman still at large

A siege of Paris travel agency, where a robber armed with a handgun was holding six people hostage on Friday night, has come to an end with the release of all hostages. The suspect is reportedly still at large though.

Local media reports suggest that the incident was a botched robbery attempt.

It started at approximately 6:30 p.m. Friday when the man, who was reportedly armed with a handgun, stormed the Asieland agency on Boulevard Massena, in the 13th Arrondissement.

On its official Twitter account, the Paris police force asked people to avoid the area.

Negotiators were called to the scene.

Reuters reported that the travel agency has been held up before and is particularly popular with Asian customers who deal in cash transactions.

Shortly before 9 p.m. local time, Paris police tweeted that the standoff had ended after police intervention. They said six people were evacuated from the office, but the gunman was not among those who came out.

AFP has reported that he fled the scene.

“There were two different floors, a ground floor and a basement,” Jérôme Coumet, mayor of the 13th Arrondissement, told reporters.

“The employees were afraid that the robber would still be there, which was not the case. Everyone was released but the robber has not yet been arrested.”

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