November 24, 2015 / 7:28 PM / 4 years ago

Hostages in northern French town safe, no link to Paris attacks

Police take up position near the scene of a shootout in Roubaix, northern France, November 24, 2015. Local authorities said the situation was not related to recent deadly attacks in Paris. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

ROUBAIX, France (Reuters) - A hostage situation in the northern French town of Roubaix was apparently not linked to the Paris attacks earlier this month and has ended with the hostages now safe, officials said on Tuesday.

Local authorities said the hostages were now in a “secure place”.

Frederic Fevre, the prosecutor for the northern French city of Lille, told reporters that one hostage-taker had been killed, and that police were hunting for other suspects who were on the run.

Police sources said the Roubaix incident most likely concerned a planned armed robbery.

“This is apparently not a terrorist attack, it’s apparently a robbery,” one police source said.

France remains on high alert after the Nov. 13 attacks in and around Paris in which 130 people were killed, and as a result of this, situations such as the one in Roubaix have taken on a greater significance than usual.

Reporting by Pierre Savary and Gerard Bon; writing by Michel Rose; Editing by Gareth Jones, Andrew Callus and Andrew Hay

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