Paris mall siege: Special police units surround Primark store

2015-07-13 10:56

Paris -  A group of gunmen broke into a store in a suburban Paris shopping center and 10 people were trapped inside, police said on Monday.

Special police units surrounded the Primark store in the town of Villeneuve-la-Garenne, according to a Paris regional police official. The official was not authorised to be publicly named.

The official said the assailants were trying to rob the store and entered around 06:30 on Monday. The official said it is unclear whether the 10 people trapped inside are being held hostage or are hiding from the gunmen.

Television images showed several helmeted elite police officers entering a side door of the shopping center mid-morning. Police said the shopping center and surrounding area are closed to the public because of the security operation.

The discount clothing store is in a shopping center adjacent to the Seine River about 10km north of central Paris.

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There was no immediate sign of a political or other motive for the robbery.

The Paris region remains on high alert for terrorist activity after Islamic extremists attacked a kosher supermarket and satirical newspaper offices in January, leaving 20 people dead including the attackers.

Another police source said an employee first alerted her boyfriend of the hold-up around when she sent him a text message saying they had been taken hostage by two armed men.

Police have stopped all traffic in the area around the Qwartz mall where the Primark store is located, and all other shops in the vicinity have closed up.

-AP, AFP

Read more on:    france  |  security

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