Paris police in ‘hostage taking’ standoff with armed man

An area in Paris has been on lockdown after an armed man reportedly took several people, including a pregnant woman, hostage in one of the buildings, local media report.

Emergency services arrive at the scene of a hostage situation in central France on Tuesday, June 12, 2018.

The standoff began around 4:00 pm (1400 GMT), with BFM television reporting that the man had entered the offices of a start-up company on the Rue des Petites Ecuries, a gritty area of the bustling 10th arrondissement.

However, police have said there was no indication that the incident was terrorism-related, according to CNN.

There were two people taken hostage, according to initial reports. The suspect reportedly doused two of the hostages with gasoline after the one managed to escape.

Officials at police headquarters would not immediately confirm whether the person holding the hostages was armed or describe the nature of his demands. But the police source said he had asked to communicate with the Iranian embassy so that they could convey a message to the French government.

"Officials will be trying to start a negotiation with the man", police union official Yves Lefebvre told BFMTV.