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13 June 2018, 06:44 | Darnell Patrick
The incident is not believed to be terror related
French police, special police forces (BRI) and firemen secure the street as a man has taken two people hostage at a business in Paris, France, June 12, 2018.
Witnesses said the man claimed to be in possession of a gun and bomb.
Officers are trying to determine whether the incident is terror related. However, France Bleu radio said that the perpetrator was holding at least three people.
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. Their captor apparently was armed with knives.
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The police could not confirm to AP whether the hostage-taker is actually armed.
According to reports he had demanded to be put in contact with the Iranian ambassador in Paris and that he didn't want any police cars in the vicinity.
Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency reported that a spokesman for Iran's Foreign Ministry, Bahram Ghasemi, said the Iranian Embassy in Paris stood ready to help "considering the importance of people's lives and human aspects of the issue". Police swept vehicles in the area with a device but found nothing, he said. The suspect reportedly doused two of the hostages with gasoline after the one managed to escape.
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