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Gunman armed with Kalashnikov takes hostages at post office near Paris

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A suspect in a hostage taking situation is detained by members of special French RAID forces outside the post offices in Colombes outside Paris, January 16, 2015.  REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

A suspect in a hostage taking situation is detained by members of special French RAID forces outside the post offices in Colombes outside Paris, January 16, 2015. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

REUTERS

Members of special French RAID forces secure the entrance to the post offices in Colombes outside Paris, were an armed gunman is holding hostages January 16, 2015.    REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

Members of special French RAID forces secure the entrance to the post offices in Colombes outside Paris, were an armed gunman is holding hostages January 16, 2015. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

REUTERS

Members of special French RAID forces secure the area next to the post offices in Colombes outside Paris, were an armed gunman is holding hostages January 16, 2015.     REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Members of special French RAID forces secure the area next to the post offices in Colombes outside Paris, were an armed gunman is holding hostages January 16, 2015. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

REUTERS

A suspect in a hostage taking situation is detained by members of special French RAID forces outside the post offices in Colombes outside Paris, January 16, 2015.  REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

A suspect in a hostage taking situation is detained by members of special French RAID forces outside the post offices in Colombes outside Paris, January 16, 2015. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

REUTERS

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A suspect in a hostage taking situation is detained by members of special French RAID forces outside the post offices in Colombes outside Paris, January 16, 2015. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

A man armed with an assault rifle surrendered to police this afternoon after briefly holding two hostages in a post office just west of Paris.

Police said that he was an “unbalanced” individual and not a terrorist.

Several customers managed to flee from the post office in Colombes, west of the city of Paris proper, when the gunman entered soon after 12.30pm local time. Witnesses said that he was carrying a “weapon of war”, possibly a Kalashnikov assault rifle.

Police said that the gumnan had telephoned them and made a “confused” statement.  Amongst other things, he said that he was protesting against the break-up of a relationship with a girlfriend.

The man, already known to police as an “unbalanced individual”, surrendered after just over two hours.

Dario Spagnolo, who happened to be at the scene of unfolding events, wrote on Twitter: "Unfortunately, terror attack or not, no one is reassured."

In the wake of the terrorist mayhem in Paris last week, the incident sent renewed waves of anxiety though France. Questions seem certain to be asked on how such a man got hold of an assault weapon in a country which is supposed to have some of the toughest gun control laws in Europe. 

Independent.co.uk

Online Editors