- Associated Press - Monday, July 13, 2015

VILLENEUVE-LA-GARENNE, France (AP) — A group of gunmen broke into a discount clothing store in a suburban Paris shopping center Monday and about 10 people were trapped inside, police said.

Police surrounded the shopping center in the town of Villeneuve-la-Garenne, and cordoned off the neighborhood, adjacent to the Seine River about 10 kilometers (6 miles) north of central Paris.

A regional police official said the assailants were trying to rob the Primark store and entered around 6:30 a.m. (0430GMT) Monday. The official said it was unclear whether the 10 people trapped inside were being held hostage or were hiding from the gunmen.

Helmeted and heavily armed officers from a special police unit entered the store, and a few officers emerged later accompanying women reported to be store employees, according to images broadcast on BFM television. Another regional police official said, however, that the incident was not over and some people were believed to still be inside.

The officials were not authorized to be publicly named.

There was no immediate sign of a political or other motive for the robbery.

The Paris region remains on high alert after Islamic extremists attacked a kosher supermarket and satirical newspaper offices in January, leaving 20 people dead including the attackers.


Charlton reported from Paris.

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