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Police Free 18 People Held Siege In French Mall  

Eighteen people have been evacuated from a shopping centre north of Paris, after up to three armed men entered the building early on Monday.

A police source said they had been hiding in a canteen in the Qwartz centre in Villeneuve-la-Garenne.

It was unclear whether anyone else was still trapped in the centre or whether any hostages had been taken.

Police told the BBC the incident appeared to be an armed robbery, not a terrorist attack.

“At around 06:30 (04:30 GMT), two or three armed criminals went into the Primark store for what we think was initially an attempt at armed robbery,” a police source, who wished to remain anonymous, is quoted as saying by AFP news agency.

Traffic in the area was stopped and all other shops nearby were closed.

Another police source said an employee first alerted her boyfriend of the hold-up at around 07:00 when she sent him a text message saying they had been taken hostage by two armed men.




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