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Updated: Gunman taken by police after hostage stand-off at school

An armed man had held one adult in France, after initially taking children hostage.

A satellite image showing Vitry on the outskirts of Paris
A satellite image showing Vitry on the outskirts of Paris
Image: Google Earth

Updated, 11.21am

AN ARMED MAN who took hostages at a school complex in France has been taken into custody, police say.

It was not immediately clear how he was taken, but police said all hostages were released unhurt. Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of police rules.

Children were initially among the hostages, but were released. However, the gunman then held one adult for several hours.

A police official said officers from the elite Raid force arrived on site to negotiate with the man.

The man took the hostages in Vitry-sur-Seine, a commuter town with residents from a variety of socioeconomic classes. Another police official said that all the children at the complex, which includes nursery and elementary schools, were safe. He added that the adult being held is a parent of one of the children.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of police rules.

French schools are on summer vacation, but many are running summer activities.

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In late June, a man took four employees of a bank hostage in Toulouse. Authorities at the time said he appeared to be mentally ill and ranted disjointedly about religious motives.

Toulouse is the southern French city that was terrorized by a gunman whom police say claimed links to al-Qaida and killed three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and three paratroopers. The suspected perpetrator, Mohamed Merah, was killed after a long standoff with the Raid police.

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