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Police free 18 hostages from Paris store hold up 

PARIS: Police freed 18 hostages held by gunmen inside a Primark store near Paris after what appears to be an attempt to rob the shop, police said, adding that special forces were dispatched to the scene.

Three armed criminals were involved in the Primark store hold out, sorces said.

Another police source said an employee first alerted her boyfriend of the hold-up around 7:00am when she sent him a text message saying they had been taken hostage by two armed men.

Police stopped all traffic in the area around the Qwartz mall where the Primark store is located, and all other shops in the vicinity were closed up.

The incident occurred in Villeneuve-la-Garenne, a small commune just north of Paris.

They “were evacuated around 10:30, one of them was unwell but no one was injured ,” police said, adding security forces were still hunting for the gunmen.

A specialist armed police unit had been sent to the scene and the shopping mall was still in lock down. The latest reports say there are three gunmen involved in the siege, one of whom is reported to be a member of staff at Primark.

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