Gunmen holding up Paris Primark store with 10 people inside

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French police have said gunmen are holding up a Primark store near Paris, with 10 people inside.

Up to three gunmen entered the Primark store in Villeneuve-la-Garenne at 6.30am local time, Sky news reports.

“Around 6.30 am (5.30am Irish time), 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, said.

The official said it is unclear whether the 10 people trapped inside are being held hostage or are hiding from the gunmen.

CBS Correspondent in Paris Elaine Cobb said it was more likely this was an armed robbery gone wrong than a terror-related incident.

She said: “It doesn’t fit any of the usual patterns for a terror attack – (for example) maximum publicity, more people being killed, possibly, and more people (in the area).”

One of the employees is reported to have texted a friend to say she and others were being held hostage by armed gunmen.

Television images showed several elite police officers entering a side door of the shopping centre mid-morning.

Police said the centre and the surrounding area are closed to the public because of the security operation.

The discount clothing store is in a shopping centre adjacent to the River Seine, about six miles north of central Paris.

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

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.

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