Paris gunman claiming to be armed takes two hostages in post office

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A gunman claiming to be armed with a Kalashnikov and grenades has taken two people hostage at post office in a Paris suburb. 
Police have surrounded the building in Colombes, around seven miles from the centre of the French capital. A helicopter was flying overhead.
The gunman reportedly phoned police to confirm that he had taken hostages in the post office on 158 boulevard du general de Gaulle.
Two captives are understood to have already been released, according to French media.
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Armed police train their weapons on a post office in the Paris suburb of Colombes where a gunman has taken three people hostage
Armed police train their weapons on a post office in the Paris suburb of Colombes where a gunman has taken three people hostage
French Research and Intervention Brigades (BRI) police officers stand guard near the post office in the Paris suburb of Colombes
French Research and Intervention Brigades (BRI) police officers stand guard near the post office in the Paris suburb of Colombes
Closing in: The gunman reportedly phoned police to confirm he had taken hostages in the post office on 158 boulevard du general de Gaulle
Closing in: The gunman reportedly phoned police to confirm he had taken hostages in the post office on 158 boulevard du general de Gaulle
The post office is seen with its metal security shutters down as negotiations get under way between the hostage-taker and police units
The post office is seen with its metal security shutters down as negotiations get under way between the hostage-taker and police units
Terror: Armed police take up their positions near a post office where an armed man is holed up with two hostages in a Paris suburb
Terror: Armed police take up their positions near a post office where an armed man is holed up with two hostages in a Paris suburb
Alert: The area around the post office has been cordoned off, with a helicopter flying overhead and elite security forces on the ground
Alert: The area around the post office has been cordoned off, with a helicopter flying overhead and elite security forces on the ground
The suspect, who identified himself to police, is known to the authorities for minor crimes, it was reported by RTL.
Negotiations between the man and special police units are underway.
It is not known if the siege is linked to last week’s terror attacks. 
The district of Colombes is close to where one of the brothers behind the Charlie Hebdo massacre lived. 
It comes as Belgian authorities raided an Islamist cell planning attacks against police as dozens of people were arrested in sweeps across Europe, keeping the continent on alert one week after the Paris massacres.
Two suspected jihadists were shot dead in a police raid in the eastern Belgian town of Verviers last night night.
Prosecutors said 13 suspects had been detained across Belgium, with two more held in France.  
Police surround a post office in the Parisien suburb of Colombes, where a gunman claiming to be armed with a Kalashnikov and grenades has taken three people hostage
Police surround a post office in the Parisien suburb of Colombes, where a gunman claiming to be armed with a Kalashnikov and grenades has taken three people hostage
Emergency: Police and firefighters surround the building in Colombes, around seven miles from the centre of Paris, as the siege unfolds
Emergency: Police and firefighters surround the building in Colombes, around seven miles from the centre of Paris, as the siege unfolds
A woman watches the siege unfold. It is not known if the hostage-taking is linked to last week's terror attacks in Paris in which 17 people died
A woman watches the siege unfold. It is not known if the hostage-taking is linked to last week’s terror attacks in Paris in which 17 people died
French police separately detained 12 people in the suburbs of Paris in connection with last week’s attacks on the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, a Jewish supermarket and a policewoman, in which 17 people were killed.
Hundreds of German police meanwhile raided alleged Islamist sites in Berlin, arresting two men suspected of being part of a group planning to carry out an attack in Syria.
The raids highlighted fears about young Europeans travelling to fight with the Islamic State and Al Qaeda-linked groups in the Middle East before returning to carry out attacks on western targets.

 | Daily Mail Online

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