Armed man seizes hostages in French bank

LE HAVRE, France (Reuters) – A gunman who took six of us hostage in a bank in northern France on Thursday surrendered to elite police after a six-hour operation to free his captives. A police officer internal a automobile secures the home approach the bank the set up an armed man held hostages, in Le Havre, France, August 6, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo FuentesThe hostage-taker, a 34-year-faded with a historical previous of psychological sickness, emerged slowly from the constructing wearing a balaclava and alongside with his hands was arms-up, outdated to officers with their weapons raised moved in and handcuffed him. Your entire hostages had been unharmed, though in shock, said Denis Jacob of the Different police alternate union. Bomb squad officers acted after the man told officers there had been explosives in a in discovering. He had been armed with a handgun, a nationwide police consultant told Reuters. The particular person first and critical took six of us hostage. 5 had been therefore released and the sixth taken to security after the man was once arrested, per Jacob. The hostage-taker was once believed to enjoy Islamist sympathies, two police union officers said, however there was once no reliable affirmation of this. Militant attacks enjoy shaken France currently, with four police officers killed in an October 2019 knife rampage in Paris and 130 of us killed by coordinated bombings and shootings within the capital in November 2015. Yves Lefebvre, head of 1 other police union, SGP Unite, said the hostage-taker in Le Havre, a city of around 170,000 of us on the English Channel, was once identified to regulation enforcement authorities and on a security service learn about record. “Everyone knows that he has been radicalised and suffers a serious psychiatric sickness,” he said. Any other supply, a senior police reliable, said that throughout the incident the man spoke in enhance of the Palestinian order off. He walked out of the bank with what perceived to be a inexperienced-colored flag draped around his shoulders. Police had cordoned off the home all over the bank on Boulevard de Strasbourg, a broad thoroughfare within the centre of Le Havre. An employee at a Burger King outlet about 100 metres from the bank said police had told them to lock an entrance on the identical avenue as the hostage-taking however no longer ordered them to shut. When the fifth hostage was once freed, a man in a purple shirt will seemingly be seen in Reuters television pictures being led away from the bank by a police officer in corpulent protective tools. “Very proud and grateful,” dilapidated top minister Edouard Philippe, now Le Havre’s mayor, wrote on Twitter in reward of the police. The hostages had been seized in a branch of Bred bank, a mid-sized lender, on the bottom floor of a six-storey residential constructing. Additional reporting by Benoit Van Overstraten, Richard Lough, Caroline Pailliez and Tangi Salaun in Paris; Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Tom Brown and Daniel Wallis

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