AN armed man claiming to have a bomb today took three people including a pregnant woman hostage in Paris.
Anti-terrorist police have surrounded the Mixicom computer store in the French capital’s 10th arrondissement, close to the Gare du Nord Eurostar hub.
One man is said to have been injured after being hit by a wrench as the suspect entered the shop on Tuesday afternoon.
He escaped but the gunman held a pregnant woman hostage and doused two others in petrol, according to reports.
The man has told officers that he “wants to get a message to the Iranian embassy and the French government”, said a source at the scene.
The man is said to be carrying a handgun, and says he has explosives in a bag, the source added.
By 5pm local time, the whole area around Mixicom was in lockdown as people were told to avoid the area.
Members of the elite Research and Intervention Brigade (BRI) arrived on the scene with an armoured screen, pushing it towards the door under siege in Rue des Petites Ecuries.
Eye witness Philippe Grasset posted pictures of the drama on Twitter, saying: “Police stand ready to intervene.”
Police union official Yves Lefebvre told French TV: “Officials will be trying to start a negotiation with the man.”.
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Paris has been hit by a number of terrorist attacks in recent years, including the Bataclan attack that left 130 dead in November 2015.
The perpetrators have been mainly young men claiming affiliation to Islamic State and Al-Qaeda.
However, there was no early indication as to the motives of today’s assailant.
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